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A burning concern: San Lorenzo Valley winter air quality fails U.S. standard

A burning concern: San Lorenzo Valley winter air quality fails U.S. standard

Picture of Jondi Gumz

The problem is unhealthy air. The question is: What can be done?

My story on May 7, a week after burn season ended, is based on statistics that will surprise our community: 37 days this past winter when air in one part of our county did not meet the U.S. standard while the county air overall rated an A.

There are two videos and three fact boxes to help tell the story.

My hope is that this story will prompt soul-searching in the community and a push for solutions.

Caution: the American Lung Association grade for each county does NOT include monitoring at temporary monitors so those grades can make your air quality look better than it is. If your area has winter air pollution from wood smoke, check with the regional air district for your community because that office may have more localized data from temporary monitors than the EPA or Lung Association will have.

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The USC Center for Health Journalism at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is seeking two Engagement Editors to serve as thought leaders in one of the most innovative and rewarding arenas in journalism today – “engaged reporting” that puts the community at the center of the reporting process. Learn more about the positions and apply to join our team.

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