Understanding Public Views about Air Quality and Air Pollution Sources in the San Joaquin Valley, California


The San Joaquin Valley of California has poor air quality and high rates of asthma. Surveys were collected from 744 residents of the San Joaquin Valley from November 2014 to January 2015 to examine the public’s views about air quality. The results of this study suggest that participants exposed to high PM2.5 (particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in size) concentrations perceived air pollution to be of the worst quality. Air quality in the San Joaquin Valley was primarily perceived as either moderate or unhealthy for sensitive groups. Females perceived air pollution to be of worse quality compared to males. Participants perceived unemployment, crime, and obesity to be the top three most serious community problems in the San Joaquin Valley. Participants viewed cars and trucks, windblown dust, and factories as the principle contributors to air pollution in the area. There is a need to continue studying public perceptions of air quality in the San Joaquin Valley with a more robust survey with more participants over several years and seasons.

Journal of Environmental and Public Health