Bakersfield and Kern County, indeed the entire San Joaquin Valley, have some of the worst, if not the worst, ambient air quality in the nation. It consistently fails to meet federal and California standards for allowed levels of certain air pollutants, all of which have deleterious health effects.
Recent studies have confirmed that in addition to respiratory problems, some of these pollutants are directly related to heart disease. Here are three of them that residents need to become familiar with: nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and ozone.
After you've read about these pollutants, you may be interested in these other articles: