Oakland (KPIX) — We know that wildfire smoke is bad. Now we know more about how bad it is. A new study published on Friday shows that wildfire smoke is far more dangerous than other common forms of air pollution.
Dr. Tom Collingham A fellow researcher at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego examined air quality and hospitalization data for 14 years in Southern California. They report that wildfire smoke is up to 10 times more harmful than air pollution from car exhaust, factories and power plants.
“Our study is the first to show efficacy at the population level,” said Dr. Collingham. “These are significant effects that have widespread impact, not just in the area of fire.”
Wildfires often emit small particles called PM2.5, which are much smaller in diameter than human hair, according to Kollingham. PM 2.5 particles can invade the lungs and bloodstream, exacerbate chronic lung and heart conditions, and can cause serious harm by causing asthma attacks, strokes, and heart attacks.
When the bay area was covered with smoke and the sky turned orange on September 9, 2020, many complained of problems such as sore throat and watery eyes.
“I was tired that day when the sky was really orange, so I felt like I needed energy,” said Susan Garner, who lives in Auckland.
“I have mild asthma, so even if I try to run a little with smoke, my lungs are very tired,” said Sophie Weimann, who lives in Auckland.
Given climate change, researchers said lawmakers needed to focus more on fire protection.
Vincent Crudele is an Assistant Fire Marshal of the Auckland Fire Department’s Fire Department. He was not surprised by the findings.
“Understanding these are the dangers we face on a daily and regular basis brings another level of education to the general public,” said Kludel.
Researchers in the new study also talked about the importance of government offering rebates so that low-income families can afford home air filters and air purifiers during the fire season.
Some Auckland firefighters spent Friday with large logs to block the Auckland Hill observatory.
“It’s part of our fire protection and fuel mitigation program,” said Kludel.
He said illegal fireworks and campfires at the hill observatory caused a lot of problems last summer. The fire department also deploys thousands of grazing goats each year. Other departments use open burning to reduce fuel.
Study Shows Wildfire Smoke Much More Harmful Than Auto Pollution – CBS San Francisco Source link Study Shows Wildfire Smoke Much More Harmful Than Auto Pollution – CBS San Francisco