Statewide Windblown Dust
Windblown dust is dust emitted from loose soils or disturbed natural lands by wind action. Weather conditions, the natural environment, and human activities can cause windblown dust that contributes to air pollution. Various dust control methods are employed across California to control windblown dust, from the coast to the desert, depending on local soil properties, topography, and meteorology.
Windblown dust is a concern for air quality statewide. Anyone exposed to particulate matter can experience adverse health effects, however young children, older adults, and those with respiratory diseases are more likely to be affected. Particles with a diameter of 10 microns or less (PM10) are particles small enough to pass through the throat and nose and enter the lungs. PM10 particles make up a large portion of windblown dust and high PM10 concentrations can be common downwind of loose or disturbed soils during wind events.
More information about windblown dust and health can be viewed in the Particulate Matter and Health Fact Sheet.