Human cost of valley's pollution: $6.3 billion

There's a new annual price tag on the cost of breathing dirty air in the San Joaquin Valley: 823 premature deaths and $6.3 billion.

The figures are roughly twice as high as they were two years ago in a similar report, because researchers are factoring in the newest, strictest federal ozone and particulate standards.

Researchers Jane V. Hall and Victor Brajer of California State University, Fullerton, also included the South Coast Air Basin in the study. Most of the Valley's $6.3 billion cost is the value placed on people who die prematurely from exposure to the microscopic specks of soot, chemical and liquid in particulate matter.

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