Air quality in SCV deemed unhealthy on Friday

FILE PHOTO: Smog and smoke from a nearby brush fire obscure the mountains to the north of Santa Clarita. Cory Rubin/The Signal
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County health officials warned residents about air quality concerns for Friday in the Santa Clarita and in East San Gabriel valleys.

“Unhealthy air quality comes from high ozone levels,” said Sam Atwood, the South Coast Air Quality Management District media office manager. “This happens when high temperatures combine with air pollution from cars, trucks, businesses and other sources.”

Ozone concentrations are usually at their highest on hot summer afternoons when there is little to no wind, he said. Ozone levels are considered unhealthy when the air quality index is between 151 and 200, and is very unhealthy when it is between 201 and 300.

Even though clear, blue skies may make it appear safe to be outdoors, ozone is a colorless, odorless gas that is harmful to breathe.

The SCAQMD offered the following tips:

  • Ozone levels tend to be highest in the afternoon, so exercising outdoors in the morning may decrease a person’s risk of developing lung damage.
  • Sensitive groups such as children, the elderly, and those with existing heart and lung diseases should limit their outdoor activities when ozone levels are high.
  • Stay informed about air quality levels by visiting the SCAQMD’s website or by signing up for air quality alerts at https://www.aqmd.gov/airalerts/.

For more information on Los Angeles County Public Health, visit https://publichealth.lacounty.gov

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