Blowing dust as a result of gusty winds has prompted local air pollution officials to issue a health warning for the entire San Joaquin Valley.
The National Weather Service issued a Wind Advisory on Tuesday for the northern San Joaquin Valley area. A Wind Advisory means that constant wind speeds over 25 mph are expected or wind gusts over 40 mph. Winds this strong can down trees and branches, cause power outages and make driving difficult, especially for small cars and high profile vehicles.
While the Wind Advisory ended Tuesday night, the Air Pollution Control District’s health warning is through Wednesday morning.
A cold front producing strong to gusty winds caused localized blowing dust in the San Joaquin Valley where soils are potentially very dry. This causes rising 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.
The air district warns that 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.