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Gusty winds prompt health caution

Blowing dust poses potential helath concern for Valley residents

POSTED April 8, 2013 3:35 p.m.

A very strong, dry, cold front moved through the Air Basin earlier today, bringing strong to gusty northwesterly winds across the entire San Joaquin Valley prompting local air-pollution officials to issue a healthy cautionary statement through this evening.

Winds will be especially gusty and strong over the western and northern parts of the District. Winds may produce areas of localized blowing dust, which can result in unhealthy concentrations of particulate matter 10 microns and smaller (PM10). Exposure to particulate pollution can cause serious health problems, aggravate lung disease, trigger asthma attacks and bronchitis, and increase risk of respiratory infections.

Where conditions warrant, people with heart or lung disease should follow their doctors’ advice for dealing with episodes of particulate exposure. Additionally, older adults and children should avoid prolonged exposure or heavy exertion, depending on their local conditions.

Residents can check the nearest air monitor to their location to determine localized conditions. Visit the Real-time Air Advisory Network page on the District’s website to subscribe for free: http://www.valleyair.org/Programs/RAAN/raan_landing.htm.

For more information, visit www.valleyair.org<http://www.valleyair.org/> or call a District office in Fresno (559-230-6000), Modesto (209-557-6400) or Bakersfield (661-392-5500).

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