The 2013 State of the Air report by the American Lung Association (Wednesday) doesn’t include the full where/when/why/how/who complexity of air pollution. It points the same white-gloved finger at Bakersfield (No. 1 in the “Top 10 Sootiest Cities”), and repeats a “skewed” mixed message on SLO County ozone, which was ranked in the top 10 in 2012, but has inexplicably improved to No. 25 in 2013.
Traffic statistics don’t support that kind of leap.
While it is interesting that the lung association uses the word “sootiest” for the first time, recognizing the hazardous impact of black carbon, there is no tie-in to the main sources of soot, or guidelines for being less sooty.
The lung association doesn’t mention bonfires, fire pits, barbecues, wood smokers, grillers, wood-burning fireplaces, stoves, campfires, permitted burning of green waste — all the combustion methods that make for the sooty madness of county life, or slow suffocating of that life as the case may be.
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Of course, no one, not even the American Lung Association, wants to ruffle feathers.
Maybe next year the lung association will have the gumption to go out on a limb for lungs.