About the Health Effects Task Force

The Health Effects Task Force (HETF) is a group of air quality and health experts who for over 15 years volunteered to leverage their skills and expertise to further locally based studies on the health impacts of air pollution in Sacramento and the Central Valley of California. This is an area with known and serious air pollution problems that differ significantly in type from other extensively studied areas in California and the nation.

The HETF was chaired since its inception by Jananne Sharpless, former chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, with members drawn from organizations such as the Cal EPA/ARB, Kaiser Permanente, California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, University of California, Davis, Sacramento County Health Department, and local research companies, among others.

Local air districts have funded the work of HETF with modest grants for over ten years with results only achievable because of the dedication of this extraordinary group of volunteers.

Eight studies specific to this region have been completed identifying:

  • How strategically placed vegetation downwind of busy roadways can remove ultrafine particulates from the air, thereby protecting the health of residents

  • Effects of air pollution on mortality rates from ischemic heart disease and stroke in the Central Valley

  • Particulate air pollution and rate of hospitalizations

  • Increased hospitalizations and emergency room visits of MediCal youth with asthma during high ozone days

  • Studies on exposure to ultrafine particulates across Sacramento and at a school site directly downwind of a densely trafficked urban corridor

  • The health protection effect of vegetation and downwind barriers on very fine and ultrafine particulates from freeways

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Breathe California of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails is committed to the fight for clean air, healthy lungs and a tobacco-free future in Northern California.

We are a recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
Tax ID#: 94-1641240

A member of the
Breathe America™ Alliance

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