This page provides important information about the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District’s Air Toxics Program.

 New: The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has proposed revisions to its guidelines for assessing risk from air toxics. See the California Air Pollution Control Officers Association Overview of the Upcoming Changes.

Air Toxics is a generic term referring to a harmful chemical or group of chemicals in the air. Substances that are especially harmful to health, such as those considered under U.S. EPA’s hazardous air pollutant program or California’s AB 1807 and/or AB 2588 air toxics programs, are considered to be air toxics.

Technically, any compound that is in the air and has the potential to produce adverse health effects is an air toxic. 

California has always been a leader in protecting the environment and the health and welfare of its citizens. Many people in California are concerned about the health risks of toxic air pollutants. In response to this concern, the California State Legislature passed The Air Toxics “Hot Spots” Information and Assessment Act of 1987, and amended the Act in 1992. There are four main purposes of this legislation:

  1. To identify the amount of toxic substances emitted into the air by specific businesses;
  2. To estimate potential adverse health effects for members of the public exposed to these toxic air pollutants;
  3. To inform the public of these toxic air emissions and the associated health impacts; and
  4. To protect the public health by reducing toxic air emissions from businesses.

The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) is required to oversee implementation of this legislation. Through the Air Toxics “Hot Spots” Program, affected businesses, with assistance from the APCD, determine air toxic emissions. Businesses which release considerable amounts of toxic air pollutants are required to estimate public health risks associated with these emissions by performing a risk assessment. The APCD then oversees public notification and risk reduction programs required for businesses that pose a significant risk.


Air Toxics Information

Guideline Documents

Air Toxics Calculations

Air Toxics Forms

Reference Material

For downloading instructions, see How to View and Download Documents.

For more information or assistance, call or email David Harris at (805) 961-8824 (Air Toxics Section).