The potential for blowing dust as a result of gusty winds has prompted local air pollution officials to issue a health cautionary statement, effective Saturday evening through Sunday evening for several San Joaquin Valley counties, including Kern.

According to a news release from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, northwesterly onshore flow will strengthen through Sunday evening as the weather pattern over the region transitions from low pressure to high pressure. As a result, winds will increase across the San Joaquin Valley, especially in the northern and western portions of the valley.

The windy conditions will cause localized blowing dust in areas where soils are exceptionally dry and create unhealthy concentrations of particulate matter 10 microns and smaller, known as PM10.

Exposure to particulate pollution, the air district said, can cause serious health problems, aggravate lung disease, trigger asthma attacks and bronchitis, and increase risk of respiratory infections.

Where conditions warrant, people with heart or lung disease should follow their doctors’ advice for dealing with episodes of particulate exposure. Additionally, older adults and children should avoid prolonged exposure or heavy exertion, depending on their local conditions.

For more information, visit www.valleyair.org or call the local air district office at 392-5500.

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