Science News

Wildfires prompt adoption of rule protecting California workers from smoky air

Gerardo de Loza dumps a bucket of Gravenstein apples into a bin as he works with a crew at an orchard in Graton on Tuesday, July 30, 2019. (BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat)

Santa Rosa Press-Democrat

Droves of Sonoma County residents wore white respirator masks over their faces last November as noxious smoke from the Camp fire 100 miles to the north cast a dark pall over the Bay Area, creating the foulest air ever recorded in the region. As a direct result of that pollution, California employers are now required to protect all workers — except for those in closed buildings with filtered air — from wildfire smoke whenever the air is officially deemed unhealthy to breathe.