As Fires Rage, Officials Have A Message For California Residents: Check The Air Before Going Outside
Smoky and polluted air is harmful to human health due to its high concentration of microscopic particles that can irritate the eyes, nose and lungs and pose more serious long-term health effects.
Health Officials, Local Experts Say Keep An Eye On Outdoor Conditions
The hazy, polluted conditions around the capital region are not expected to improve before the workweek’s end, and local experts and health officials all have the same message for residents: Check conditions before going outside. Air quality levels are expected to reach 150 on Wednesday, which is determined to be unhealthy for vulnerable groups, according Sacramento Region Spare The Air, a website operated by a consortium of regional air quality districts. (Holzer, 8/7)
Breathing ‘A Chore’: California Wildfires Threaten The Health Of Young And Old
Debbie Dobrosky noticed a peculiar hue in the sky on Monday — “a very ugly yellow casting” — as she peeked outside. A large cloud of smoke had begun to cover the sun. By Tuesday, the smoke was so heavy that “even inside my apartment I’ve had to use my inhaler twice this morning, which is not a normal thing,” said Dobrosky, a Riverside County, Calif., resident who lives about 30 miles from a fast-growing fire in the Cleveland National Forest.“Today I’m stuck inside, there’s no going out,” said Dobrosky, 67, who has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an inflammatory lung condition. (Gorman and Ibarra, 8/8)
The Air Is Brown — Should I Wear A Mask?
No agency typically endorses the practice of public mask-wearing, because when the air quality is poor you should be limiting your time outside instead. ("In any area where you can see or smell smoke, everyone should avoid vigorous exertion and limit outdoor exposure," posts AQMD on its air quality index map). But if it makes you feel better to wear one, we tested five different air pollution masks with Ed Avol, air pollution expert at USC's Keck School of Medicine. He gave us some insight on which ones worked, and which ones didn't. (Brenner, Carpenter and Galarreta, 8/7)
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Extreme California Wildfires Emit More Greenhouse Gases — But Scientists Don’t Know Exactly How Much
California’s wildfires are releasing millions of metric tons of carbon into the air — exacerbated by and contributing to climate change. How bad is it?Scientists don’t know. (Bradford, 8/7)