How to Address Air Pollution Around Riverside, CA
The summer weather is here, and about the warmth and flowers in bloom lies the nearly invisible smog. You may notice it a little day to day, or it might build up over time. You might notice when you are active that even though you are breathing hard, you feel a little faint. After a while of being outdoors a lot, the feeling of being congested starts in your chest, and you might start coughing. Overtime, it can have an impact on your health.
Southern CA is undoubtedly notorious for air pollution. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to minimize exposure.
Pay Attention to Air Quality Forecasts
Most people check the weather before planning an outdoor trip, but it’s a good idea to take a look at your local air quality conditions as well. Airnow.gov is a great resource to check air quality forecasts and learn what exact health hazard is in the air. The site rates the air quality index and ozone levels for the current day and day after.
Reading the reports is very simple. There is a color code from green (good) to dark red (hazardous). A bad enough rating is what is called an “action day”. Different districts may call to take action before the red zone is reached. By the time the dark red zone is reached, it is an emergency condition. Currently, Riverside does not have an action day program, but other areas in the SoCal area do, such as Bakersfield and Oxnard.
Avoid Exercising in Urban Areas
If possible, walk or drive out at least ⅓ mile away from the street before exerting yourself outdoors. Even if you look at the AQI and it’s green, high-traffic areas can actually cause high pollution in a ⅓ mile radius.
Make Sure Your Indoor Air Quality is High
There may be very little you can do to directly impact the outdoor air quality, but you do ultimately have the power to control the indoor air quality of your home or apartment. With the hustle and bustle of daily life, it is easy to disregard things like air quality, but it is so vital to keeping your family and pets healthy, especially in the situation where outdoor air quality is not ideal.
Contaminants such as pet dander, dust, and mold can cause or encourage existing allergies or asthma, and in some cases can be quite a simple fix! To ensure the air you’re breathing INSIDE your home is as clean as it can be, consider an air purifier or a variety of other indoor air quality solutions from AAP.
In general, keeping your home vacuumed, changing your air filters regularly and maintaining indoor plants will cut down on indoor air pollution, but sometimes taking the extra step to ensure the air your family is breathing while they sleep, play and grow under your roof – is totally worth the trouble.