F Preventing air pollution from western wildlife like ‘smoking 25 cigarettes a day’

After the sun rose over the western United States on Wednesday, residents in San Francisco stepped into the scene with each other. The sun was dim and everything looked rusty orange, as the thick smoke from the burning forest across the west was touching the sky.

“It reminded me of that scene Independence day When the aliens landed. Carolina Nasif, who lives in San Francisco, said it felt like that, said National Weather Reporter Dexter Henry of Acuweather. Nassif has lived in San Francisco for 16 years and reported that he has never experienced the air quality conditions of this poor.

“When you feel [it] In real life, it looks like an ominous, dark, dark brown. Imagine the sky was dark, dirty brown, ”said Nasif.

Pat Valley Kenrick, Left, and Dana Williams, both of Mill Valley, California., Record the blackened Golden Gate Bridge on a smoke-covered Wednesday from the wildfire. On September 9, 2020, there was a photo from a pier at Fort Baker near Sosalito, California. Taken at 9:47 am. (AP Photo / Eric Risberg)

Nikki Midina, who lives in Daly City, California, south of San Francisco, agreed that she had never experienced anything like the foggy conditions that covered the West last week.

“You notice it immediately. It’s very foggy. You can feel it in your throat,” Medina said to Henry, you could also feel the effects of the smoke inside the house.

The blanket of smoke – which many have taken to social media to describe as “apocalyptic” – has grown so large that it is easy to see from space, stretching all along the coast of the western U.S. and 1,000 miles Open waters of the Pacific Ocean extending over the West.

Wildfire smoke can be seen in much of the western US and extend westward into the Pacific Ocean on Thursday, September 10, 2020. (NOAA)

The far-reaching effects of wildfire smoke have done more work than letting the sun out. Smoke piles have spread air pollution throughout the region, from San Diego to Seattle, with the worst pollution levels over northern California and western Oregon, where the largest fires are burning.

According to Plume Labs, a company that monitors air pollution worldwide, air pollution in the region is reaching its worst level in years.

In the last five years, Palmdale, California, north of Los Angeles, had seen the highest air pollution levels during December of 2017. Currently, the level of air pollution just north of San Francisco is just as bad.

Across the border in Oregon, air pollution along the Interstate 5 corridor is a ‘dangerous’ level, including Medford, Eugene, Salem and Portland.

“Firefire smoke exposure can have very real health consequences. The most common health risks associated with exposure to smoke are found within our lungs,” Plume Labs told AccuWeather in an email.

“Exposure to smoking can cause difficulty in breathing, including cough, runny nose, bronchitis, wheezing, and chronic illnesses such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD),” the company said.

Even those who are otherwise healthy are at risk of health complications due to smoke.

According to a study by Berkeley Earth, in view of the current air pollution levels in the western US, inhaling air is equivalent to drinking 25 cigarettes a day.

Health effects can increase if you have heart or lung disease, who are an adult or child, pregnant, smokers, or involved in strenuous outdoor work or outdoor sports, Plum Labs said.

Air pollution covering the western US is very different than other types of air pollution, such as smog produced by factories.

“Wildfires emit a mixture of particulate matter (PM) and gases,” Dr. Boris Quenhein, a scientist at Plum Labs. “In particular, wildfires emit significantly more pollutants, mostly because they last longer. Even the variations of wood and how it is burning can make a difference.”

Fires that run in communities and burn residential areas can pose an additional threat because they scorch more than just wood. Materials such as plastics, building materials, and electronics excrete toxic gases when they are burned, increasing health problems for those who breathe in polluted air.

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At the age of COVID-19, most people wear a face mask when outdoors, but not every face covering is effective in filtering out wildfire pollution.

“To complicate the situation, anti-pollution masks (FFP2 and above) typically have valves to help vent air and ease breathing. Unfortunately, valves mask masks preventing transmission of the virus. Is really useless – because it’s designed to let the air go. Outside (together with whatever may be in that air), “Plume Labs told Acuweather.

The company stated, “It would be best to choose the FFP2 + mask without valves to meet both needs.”

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) stated that the N95 respirators provide protection from wildfire smoke, but they supply less in this wild season due to the epidemic.

In addition to the aforementioned health effects by expelling polluted air, people who are not properly protected from wildfire smoke increase the risk of infecting coronoviruses.

The CDC stated on its website, “Wildfire smoke can irritate your lungs, cause inflammation, affect your immune system and give you SARS-CoV-2, the virus, which contains COVID-19 , Including can pose a risk of lung infection. ”

“Some symptoms, such as dry cough, sore throat, and difficulty breathing, can both be caused by wildfire smoke exposure and COVID-19,” the CDC said.

However, other symptoms of COVID-19, such as chills, fever, diarrhea, and body aches, are not exposed to smoke.

Residents across the western US can monitor air quality levels in their neighborhoods with AccuWeather’s air quality page, which includes detailed air quality forecasts.

Reporting by Dexter Henry.

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