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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Monday, May 6, 2013

Hot Weather Impacts Air Quality

State and Federal Air Quality Standards Were Exceeded in Santa Barbara County

The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (District) announced that health-based air quality standards were exceeded on Friday at county monitoring stations, likely due to hot weather conditions.


Concentrations of ground-level ozone, a principal component of smog, recorded Friday at stations in Carpinteria and Lompoc exceeded both the federal eight-hour ozone standard and the state eight-hour ozone standard, and ozone concentrations at the Las Flores Canyon (Gaviota coast), Paradise Road, Santa Ynez, and Vandenberg Air Force Base stations exceeded the state ozone standard. In addition, the state standard for particulate matter less than 10 microns in diameter (PM10) was exceeded at the Santa Maria station on both Friday and Sunday, due to very windy conditions.

Said District Director Dave Van Mullem, “We can expect higher ozone levels during periods of intense hot weather, and these are also the times we are most at risk for impacts from wildfires.” The District and the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department jointly issued an Air Quality Watch on Thursday, stating that there was potential for poor air quality in the county due to a combination of smoke from the Springs Fire in the Camarillo area and hot weather conditions.The Watch was changed to an Air Quality Warning on Friday.The Warning is no longer in effect, as air quality has improved with the change in weather.

Levels of ozone exceeding the health-based standards are considered particularly unhealthy for sensitive groups, including children, older adults, and people with heart or lung conditions. Everyone, and especially sensitive individuals, should limit outdoor activities and avoid outdoor exercise during periods when air quality is poor.

To view ozone and particle levels updated hourly, see “Today’s Air Quality” on the District’s website at http://www.OurAir.org.

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