Welcome to Friday Facts! Each week we'll be taking a look at a specific chart from the Data & Resources section of our website. This week we're focusing on the number of unhealthy air quality days each year as a result of ozone pollution in Riverside County.
While we have focused a great deal on health outcomes and socioeconomic factors contributing to health disparities in California, another root cause is our environment. It is much harder to live a healthy life when the air you breathe can cause you harm. For today’s Friday Facts, we’re looking at a particular form of pollution, ozone, in Riverside County.
As you can see from the table on our Data and Resources section, everyone living in Riverside County experiences roughly six weeks of unhealthy air quality days due to ozone pollution each summer. While there are some disparities (for example, African Americans average about a week’s worth of unhealthy days more than Whites), it is clear that this is an issue impacting all communities in the county. But what does “unhealthy air quality days” mean? Well, in this instance it is the number of days between May and October that have a level of ozone in the air that is higher than what is considered safe by federal standards.
Every year, dirty air kills over 9,000 Californians. Shockingly, more of us die from traffic-related pollution than from traffic-related accidents. Smog increases rates of asthma attacks, heart attacks and strokes, and the five most polluted cities in America are all in California.
Fortunately, something amazing is happening in California. We’re charging polluters for the damage they cause and using that money to clean the air, save families money, and bring investments and jobs to communities that need them. But too few Californians know this is happening, or the good it’s doing for our neighborhoods. UpLiftCA will change that.
UpliftCA is a comprehensive campaign, with websites in both English and Spanish, which tells the story of how California’s climate policies are helping low-income communities and communities of color: cleaning the air, creating jobs and saving consumers money. The sites feature real-world stories, resources for both consumers and businesses, and more information about the laws. We invite you to visit UpLiftCA and share it with everyone you know. Come learn how California’s climate and clean energy laws and our fight against global warming are helping to build healthy, thriving neighborhoods.