The SLO County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) wanted SLO County residents to “Be Air Aware” during Air Quality Awareness Week, which was May 1 to May 5.
The APCD is concerned mainly with man-made pollutants but it was impossible for local residents with allergen sensitivities to be anything but aware of what was in the air that week.
The pollen index for the San Luis Obispo area hovered steadily between 8 and 7.7 for April 20 through May 5 according to the tracking site: pollen.com. And there was a run on over the counter anti-histamines and decongestants at pharmacies from Morro Bay to Pismo Beach.
While the AOCD routinely issues air quality alerts around dust from the Oceano Dunes or heavy smog blowing through the region, during Air Quality Awareness Week, they urged residents to keep informed by subscribing to an email service that sends air quality information as available from the Air Quality Index (AQI).
The index is a snapshot of air pollution and advises when to take precautions if the region is impacted by high ozone levels, smoke from wildfires, or high wind dust events.
The AQI was developed by the USEPA and is a user-friendly index for reporting daily air quality. Visit the APCD website for information or to sign up at: www.slocleanair.org/air-quality/air-forecasting-map.php.