S.F. Bay Area air quality improves

Air quality has clearly gotten better in the Bay Area. At least this year.

The nine-county San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland region dropped off the list of top 25 most-polluted metropolitan areas in this year’s American Lung Association “State of the Air” rankings announced Wednesday. The region was in 24th place last year. Other parts of California didn’t fare nearly as well, with the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside region and Kern County (Bakersfield) finishing at or near the top of the lists for ozone pollution, short-term particle pollution and annual particle pollution levels.

Other parts of the San Joaquin Valley, including the Fresno, Visalia, Merced and Modesto areas, also had high levels in some of those pollution categories.

According to the American Lung Association report, the Bay Area recorded a 51 percent decline this year compared to last in days considered unhealthy in ozone levels. That often, however, is dependent on weather conditions, as ozone levels tend to peak on hot days with little air circulation. And short-term particle readings have declined 71 percent since 2007 in the Bay Area.

Read more in the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal.


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