Basic Air Quality Information
pollution is a general term used to describe undesirable amounts of particulate or gaseous matter in the
atmosphere. Air pollution can be natural or human-made. It occurs naturally during volcano eruptions,
forest fires, or dust storms.
during the past hundred years, air pollution created by humans has become a major, persistant problem. The
air we breathe in many U.S. cities is being polluted by activities such as driving cars and trucks; burning
coal, oil, and other fossil furels; and manufacturing chemicals. Air pollution can even come from smaller,
everyday activities such as dry cleaning, filling your car with gas, and degreasing and painting operations.
These activites add gasses and paticles to the air we breathe. When these gases and particles accumlate in
the air in high enough concentrations, they can harm us and our environment. More poeple in cities and
surrounding counties means more cars, trucks, industrial and commerical operations, and generally means more
California, some of our cities are among the smogiest urban areas in the country. We can see some air pollutants
such as the reddish-brown haze in smog in our major cities. However, other air pollutants, including some of the
most dangerous, are invisible yet very small amounts of these pollutants can cause serious health and environmental
problems. Air pollution damages crops, reduces property values, and is harmful to humans - especially children and
the elderly. In addition, a majority of the state's population resides in low-lying basins where air pollutants
tend to persist.
Humboldt, Del Norte, and Trinity counties, the North Coast Unified Air Quality Managment District works with the
state California Air Resources Board (ARB) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to improve
and protect air quality in our region.
Follow these links to find outmore information about air pollution - its causes, its efects on human health and
the environment, and how to reduce it.