State of the Air
Having allergies and a fiancé with asthma is one thing, but sometimes where you live can make it a heck of a lot worse. The American Lung Association recently released their State of the Air 2010 report, which grades counties and cities based on particulates and ozone pollution on a year round average and on a particular day of the year. California may have some great counties, as my future father in law notes up in the County of Lake, but we also have the infamous smog of Los Angeles too. We have such a great state that we have six counties in the top ten worst in the country, by all three measurements. Not to make SoCal fans angry, Sacramento shows up repeatedly, and Oak-SJ-SF pops up on the short term particulates.
In defense of NorCal, however San Francisco is still the second best city for asthma sufferers in the country and the region features nicely on a list of perfect score A grades: Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Siskiyou, and Sonoma. If it weren’t for four “B” grades, however, one might think that in California, the State of the Air Report was a pass/fail test.
As for why some counties, that you might think should score high, like Tuolumne, home of Yosemite, don’t score high: locations of monitoring facilities are often closer to people and cross country roads, and not in the sierra backcountry that a lot of sierra counties possess. Smoke also can play a big role, as the 2010 report is based off of 2006-08 data, where we had some big honkin’ fires in northern California, explaining why Shasta county fell from an A down to a bombing F.