Valley experiencing unhealthy air quality

January 22, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
We may be enjoying near record high temperatures, but we are also experiencing some unhealthy air quality.

The temperatures are unusually warm, but the Valley also has that familiar brown haze.

Jaime Holt said, "We have some of the worst pollution in the nation when it comes to particulate matter and that is the pollutant we find here during the winter here in the Valley."

Jaime Holt with the Valley Air District says with the recent cold, the pollution has built up. Some areas of the Valley even reaching unhealthy levels.

"One of the biggest ones during the winter though is residential wood burning," Holt said. "We tell folks that on certain days they cannot use their wood burning fireplace or wood burning stove. They might get a ticket if we catch them."

And even if we can't see the pollution, with strenuous exercise you can certainly feel it.

"It looks quite a bit hazier out," Sevi Jones said. "It makes it a little bit tougher, you're struggling a little more for air."

Because of the air quality, experts say people may be surprised to learn that exercising in the morning or late afternoon hours may actually be unhealthy for you.

Holt says as the weather gets warmer, pollution rises and breaks up. Making a noon time run or walk the best time to get outdoors. And until we get a break in the weather, we can all do our part to help the air quality.

"This about not only their neighbor's health, but their health as well and we want to hopefully look out for a change in weather at the end of this week that will push out some of this pollution out of the Valley," Holt said.

On a good note, experts say pollution has decreased during the past 15 years. This winter, air quality has been better than last year.

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