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Air Quality Watch Issued for Santa Maria

Residents with breathing difficulties are urged to take precautions through the weekend due to high winds expected through the weekend in the Santa Maria area.

Here is the full news release from the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department:

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District today issued an Air Quality Watch for the Santa Maria area to be in effect through the weekend.

High winds are forecast that may produce elevated particle levels, with the highest levels expected in the afternoon and early evening.

Under similar conditions Tuesday, the Santa Maria monitoring station recorded levels of particulate matter (PM10) just slightly over the state standard. Particle levels recorded at other monitoring stations in the county were significantly lower than those recorded in Santa Maria.

This Watch is only in effect for the Santa Maria area. Stronger winds may occur from time to time over the next several days, thus this Watch is in effect until Monday morning September 23.

If you are in an area where there are high levels of dust in the air, be cautious and use common sense to protect your family’s health.

Everyone, especially people with heart or lung disease (including asthma), older adults, and children, should limit time spent outdoors, and avoid outdoor exercise when high concentrations of dust and particles are in the air.

If you have symptoms of lung or heart disease that may be related to exposure to particles, including repeated coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, nausea or unusual fatigue or lightheadedness, contact your health care provider. Everyone is encouraged to avoid dust-producing activities when winds are high.

For more information see, and for recorded advisory updates, call 805-961-8802.

An Air Quality Watch is issued when there is potential for poor air quality in some areas of the county.

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