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Experts: Research shows dust particles at the Salton sea cause breathing issues

Experts said that there's research to show that dust particles at the Salton Sea are causing asthma and breathing issues. 

Today, a forum was held at the University of California Riverside Palm Desert campus.  

News Channel 3 spoke with residents who live near the Salton Sea and experts about solutions that will help the quality of life. 

"We just published a paper a week or two ago, providing details.," said Dr. David Lo, a professor of Biomedical Sciences at the UC Riverside School of Medicine. "It's kind of like technical, so but it is really now a peer-reviewed report saying that the dust actually has components or does induce a kind of inflammatory response that may be related to the kinds of asthma-type symptoms that people the in the communities are seeing."

The Salton Sea Coalition hosted the forum highlighting its research findings on air quality and health impacts. Its pitch is to resolve issues - bring in ocean water from the Sea of Cortez or the pacific ocean to refill the Salton Sea. 

People from the Coachella and Imperial valleys came to this event, hoping to hear solutions. Asthma was a focus for some parents - like Cecilia Armenta, who said her family has suffered from dust-related illnesses.

"I'm sad for these because when they come in for that, these panels and the people say, oh, I have the solution for this problem, and they know nothing," said Cecilia Armenta, who lives near the Salton Sea. "And answers, no answers, are my questions, and everything is okay. Everything is okay. The information that's okay, but no solutions, no start to try to clean the water that Salton Sea."

The coalition emphasized there is not enough water in the colorado river to replenish the Salton Sea, especially under drought conditions.  

Experts in attendance confirmed that. 

Cecilia Armenta takes the information from these forums and shares it with her community.

 She said she's been to 5 Salton Sea-related forums in the last year or so -- but has yet to see any action. 

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Miyoshi Price

Miyoshi joined KESQ News Channel 3 in April 2022. Learn more about Miyoshi here.

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