Heat wave may worsen air quality in SCV this week

Katharine Lotze/The Signal

The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued a heat wave advisory that will last until Friday for the South Coast Air Basin, including the Santa Clarita Valley. 

Smog — the predominant summertime pollutant — is likely to reach the “Unhealthy or higher Air Quality Index” (AQI) levels in the Santa Clarita Valley, the San Gabriel Mountains, the San Gabriel Valley, the Inland Empire and the San Bernardino Mountains. 

The advisory, which took effect on Memorial Day, was issued due to expected high temperatures over the next several days that will increase the likelihood of poor air quality, according to a prepared statement from the district.  

When air quality is “unhealthy” and reaches an AQI range of 151 to 200, everyone may begin to experience some adverse health effects, and residents with higher sensitivity to air pollution may experience more serious effects. When air quality is “very unhealthy” with an AQI range of 201 to 300, everyone in the region may experience more serious health effects. 

Ozone air pollution can cause respiratory health problems, including trouble breathing, asthma attacks and lung damage. Research also indicates that ozone exposure can increase the risk of premature death. Children, older adults and people with asthma or COPD may be more sensitive to the health effects of ozone. 

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