Studies show that eight cities in California top the charts for most polluted U.S. cities. With this poor air quality, the possible health effects affecting Californians can be huge.
Because of this, many ask: What can Californians do to improve the pollution? The answer may not be so simple.
Studies show that China and other Asian countries are the number one contributors to California pollution. This surprising fact may be a shock to some, but it’s a reality that Californians must deal with every day.
How exactly does China’s pollution affect California? And what can Californians do to combat the decreasing air quality to remain healthy? Read below to find out the details on this and more!
China’s Pollution Problem
China has had a rapid increase in manufacturing over the last few decades. This increase in manufacturing has come at a cost. Because China hasn’t enforced any strict regulations for manufacturing, pollution has become a major issue there.
Research shows that the number of sources of pollution in China has increased from 5.9 million in 2010 to 9 million in 2018. This 50% increase in eight years is huge. China has implemented environmental regulations in recent years, but many factories have ignored these rules.
China’s pollution problem is so dangerous that research shows that approximately 1.6 million Chinese citizens die each year from it. This is an alarming statistic. It shows the huge impact pollution and air quality can have on people.
China’s Effect On California
Over the last couple of decades, the United States has decreased its production of air pollution by 50%. On top of that, California has some of the strictest environmental regulations in the United States. Despite these two factors, China pollution has been canceling out any improvement in air quality in America.
At first thought, increased pollution in China wouldn’t appear to have a huge impact on California. The Pacific Ocean and 6,000 miles separate the two from each other. However, it has been discovered that winds called the westerlies can and do carry pollution from China to California within days.
Because of this wind, the pollutants from China have caused a 65% increase in the Western Ozone – or, as it’s also referred to, smog. One study shows that 29% of the particulates in smog in San Francisco come directly from China’s coal plants.
These are startling numbers. It shows the huge impact China’s pollution is having on California pollution and California air quality. This increased pollution can create both short-term and long-term health problems for Californians.
Health Impacts From California Pollution
Californians are very familiar with smog. Most Los Angeles citizens check the Air Quality Index before planning outdoor activities. Everyone realizes that breathing in smog is unhealthy for you – but do you know the full extent of it?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stated that small particles in smog can have huge health impacts. These particles can enter your lungs or bloodstream. This can increase your risk of heart or lung disease.
It can also cause breathing issues and asthma attacks. Some of the long-term effects include chronic bronchitis and premature death.
Those that are most at risk are the following:
- Anyone with heart or lung disease
- The elderly
Children are especially at risk because their lungs are still developing. They also are more likely to suffer from asthma. Poor air quality leads to an increase in asthma attacks.
Humans aren’t the only ones that suffer. Air pollution is also harmful to our environment. Trees and crops can show damage from increased air pollution, stunting their growth.
What Can You Do?
Unfortunately, there isn’t much the average Californian can do to combat China’s ongoing pollution. This issue must be dealt with on an international level. However, Californians can do something to help protect themselves from this pollution!
Statistics show that people spend about 90% of their time inside. Because of this, indoor air quality is extremely important. One of the best ways to improve your indoor air quality is by using air filters!
Air filters help remove particulates such as allergens, dust, VOCs, and ozone from the air in your house or office. Properly using an air filter and replacing it every 3 months can drastically improve your health. It can reduce your risk of allergies, asthma, and bronchitis.
When selecting your air filter, there are three different ratings to choose from:
- Merv 8
- Merv 11
- Merv 13
Merv 8 is the standard, cheapest filter. It is great for nonsmokers and families without pets or allergies. The Merv 11 is the next option up — great for people with pets and allergies.
The Merv 13 air filter is the best and most expensive option. It can filter out smaller particulates. It’s an excellent option for those with pets and allergies.
On top of the different ratings, there are many other filter options to take into consideration. To make sure you select the right filter for your situation, please check out this blog!
On top of selecting the right filter, you must also make sure to replace your filter in a timely manner. Look out for the signs that it’s time to replace your filter. Most suggest replacing filters every three months. Once your filter is clogged, it won’t be able to do its job anymore.
Check Your Filter and Replace It Now!
As you’ve learned, China’s increasing pollution is negatively impacting California. Californians are breathing much more toxic air, and there isn’t much they can do about it. This California pollution can have huge short-term and long-term health impacts on its residents.
This pollution can make you feel hopeless, but there is something you can do. Check your air filter, and replace when needed! This simple action can have a huge positive impact on your health.
Do your research and select the air filter that is best for your home and your family. Please contact us if you have any questions on what air filter to select.
Now, go out and find the right filter for your home! Once you do, you should be able to finally breathe easy!