BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The American Lung Association has assigned Kern County an “F” grade in multiple measures for air quality.
The group said Kern County got failing grades for high ozone days and both 24-hour and annual particle pollution.
For ozone, an “F” grade was set to generally correlate with the number of unhealthy air days that would place a county very far off from the ozone standard.
Bakersfield, in particular, ranked No. 2 for high ozone days, No. 3 for 24-hour particle pollution, and No. 1 for annual particle pollution.
Particle pollution is the “mix of tiny solid and liquid particles that are in the air we breathe,” the association says. When levels of particle pollution are high, the air becomes “opaque,” the report explains.
To reduce personal risk, experts recommend checking daily air pollution forecasts in your area, avoiding exercise outdoors when pollution levels are high, and protecting yourself from wildfire smoke if you live in a fire-prone area.
To improve the air quality in the area, they recommend driving less, using less electricity, not burning wood or trash, and promoting clean-air policies.