"Children's asthma-related emergency room visits rise in the San Joaquin Valley at a similar rate as fine particulate levels do -- even on days where air quality is considered in the moderate range.
That's a key finding of a yearlong study by the Central Valley Health Policy Institute at Fresno State, which examined the short-term impacts of air quality changes in Bakersfield, Fresno and Modesto.
Although nationwide studies have found similar connections between heightened pollution and hospital visits, the report is the first of its kind using valley-specific data.
The results are also compelling for the proportional findings, meaning that asthma-related visits climb in lockstep with increased pollution, even on days considered "yellow" or moderate."
Kellie Schmitt reports for the Bakersfield Californian October 18, 2011.