Air quality in Simi Valley, California, isn’t as clean as the locals would like. A change of lifestyle and air emission guidelines are the two major ways the air pollution can be reduced so the citizens of the area don’t suffer from the particulates and ozone. Living in clean air is something we all want, but are we willing to take the necessary steps to attain it?
Simi Valley is known for many things, but air pollution isn’t one of them. The air quality in Simi Valley, California, has been steadily decreasing over the last twenty years and this is causing severe environmental and health concerns that need to be addressed.
Located a stone’s throw from Los Angeles, California, Simi Valley is a city full of natural beauty. Located in a valley north of Los Angeles, it sees quite a bit of attention during times of wildfires due to its close proximity to Southern California’s mountain ranges. Simi Valley has two more very important distinctions, as well. One is that it is the home of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and, two, it is ranked as the 6th safest city in America.
The two most common things that affect the air quality in Simi Valley, California, is ozone and particulates. The close proximity to Los Angeles adds to the pollution level in Simi Valley, unfortunately, and its location makes it difficult for the pollution to dissipate naturally. Here’s a little more about the two major problems with Simi Valley’s air pollution.
Ozone is caused by a chemical process that occurs between VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds), nitrogen oxide, and sunlight. Ozone is not a bad thing if it stays in the upper atmosphere because it helps to shield the earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation, but when it is at ground level, it can cause significant health impacts. Some of the health impacts that are seen in areas of high ozone levels is reduced lung function, increased sensitivity to other irritants, and damage to lung tissues.
Particulates are bits of matter that range in size from miniscule to larger particles that you can see with your naked eye. Particulates include quite a variety of substances, including dust, soot, dirt, and even smoke or liquid droplets. These items are released into the air by industries, factories, cars, construction, power plants and fires. Even the wind can blow in particulates that weren’t created in an area. The smallest particulates have the largest impact upon the health. Some of the health symptoms that can be contributed to particulate matter include damage to lung tissue, problems breathing, decreased ability to fight off respiratory and cardiac problems, decreasing your ability to fight illness, and prolonged exposure can even lead to cancer or premature death.
Carbon monoxide (CO) tends to be another problem in highly polluted areas. And the problem with CO is that it binds readily with red blood cells, preventing oxygen from being absorbed. Since oxygen is the fuel of our bodies, the lack of it — or diminished amount of it — keeps us from operating at peak performance. The brain doesn’t operate as clearly or quickly on reduced oxygen as it does with 100% oxygen. Because our bodies key an excess CO2 in the blood stream, not on reduced O2, they don’t react to the oxygen depletion and just keep functioning as if nothing is wrong, rather than sending an alert to the brain. It can take weeks to recover oxygen saturation after being exposed to carbon monoxide.
What is being done about the air quality in Simi Valley, California? The first and most important thing that is being done is getting the knowledge out there so that citizens can help to make the environment better. This is done by having air quality alerts that let citizens know exactly what the air quality level is and how they can help make it better. Encouraging citizens to find alternate methods of transportation, including carpooling, taking public transportation, and choosing environmentally friendly cars or fuel sources is also a way that an impact can be made on the air quality in Simi Valley. Enacting regulations against industries, power plants, and other businesses is another way that they are trying to impact their air quality. All of these solutions can work together to make a big impact upon Simi Valley’s air quality.
Much still needs to be done about the air quality in Simi Valley, California. With time, effort, and knowledge, big impacts can be made on air pollution, which will make the area healthier and more beautiful for more years to come.