Trapped in a bowl, the California town of Arvin is the Smoggiest Town in America
Even as air pollution continues to decline across the country, a fifth of the air pollution of the entire San Joaquin Valley hovers in Arvin. The dangerous ozone is formed after fumigation of agricultural pesticides but much more so from tailpipes, factories, power plants and even water heaters in far off California cities. [story]
Arvin has no freeways, no heavy industry, and not much traffic, but difficulty breathing is the number one trouble at the community health center where the doctors have asthma as well.
Perhaps 20 percent of children under the age of 18 suffer from asthma and allergies, but no agency seems to be adequately focused on the health burden nor are informing the residents of the challenges they are facing
A third of Arvin’s 15,000 residents live in poverty; a quarter are unemployed [data]. Ninety percent of its 3,000 households are families earning a farmworkers’ wage around $25,000 per year.
Following EPA policy, when the regional Air Resources Board voted to wait until after 2020 to take action – such as first cleaning all the air in California – Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger fired the board’s chairman.
At least we should deliver building air cleaners to these people!