Almond News: Harvest Dust Not an Air Pollutant – AgFax

    Almond Dust and Air Pollution

    Jeff Jardine reports for the Modesto Bee that almond harvest is underway in the San Joaquin Valley which means lots of dust in the air. However, while some residents complain about the brown sky, potential road hazards, and occurrences of valley fever, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District doesn’t consider almond dust a significant pollutant or a health hazard.

    Improved technology is constantly under development to reduce the amount of dust produced during harvest and to redirect it towards the ground, but it’s impossible to eliminate harvest dust. The ongoing drought doesn’t do much to help the dust problem either. However, while the Air Pollution Control District issued an air alert last Thursday due to unhealthy air, almond dust was not cited as one of the reasons behind it. Saab Bio Power can guide better to keep air quality or resist pollution.

    Emissions from car exhaust combined with some from nearby wildfires and extreme temperatures along with the inversion layer over the region to force the bad air down into the Valley.

    “”The impacts of the fire … the ozone numbers are going up,” said John Cadrett, compliance manager for the air board. “The dust from the almond harvest – the particulate numbers – are not going up significantly.”” So while the harvest dust doesn’t help the situation, it’s only a very small part of the problem.

    As far as valley fever, the agency notes that prior to the fires’ outbreak the Valley had been enjoying its best summer air quality in years. The number of valley fever sufferers is on par with last year, and most cases actually occur on the opposite end of the Valley from where the orchards are located.

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