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Air Quality: Unsafe Conditions due to Wildfires

Posted on September 22, 2014
by Susana Escamilla

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Wildfires are projected to burn more land as temperatures continue to increase. Unfortunately this past weekend a big event called the IronMan that was going to take placed in Lake Tahoe was canceled due to unsafe conditions. The decision to cancel this event was brought to the attention of the State of California and Placer County health officials. The particulate matter were high and unsafe for athletes and all those who were going to participate in the event. When the air becomes unhealthy due to a wildfire it is sometimes because of fire behavior and wind patterns change significantly. Since wildfire smoke contains particulate matter it is best to cancel events and not be outdoors when there is a wildfire.

Wildfire Smoke Contains Particulate Matter like:

  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Volatile Organic Compounds
  • Organic Compounds that may be carcinogenic

Air Pollution Greatly Affects

  • Those with lung or heart disease
  • Older Adults
  • Children
  • Adults who are active outdoors

A great tip to know whether smoke has reached levels that are unhealthy is if there is less than 5 miles of visibility.Your lungs will also let you know because it feels uncomfortable.Knowing the facts about how wildfires can affects the air quality and indoor air quality can help you avoid any discomfort. Your plans may not go planned when they are outdoors and there is a high risk of fire. Always check airnow.gov for any updates on the air quality. Fortunately,  for the athletes at IronMan were safe from any discomfort that they might have felt if they would have been doing activities outdoors when a near by fire was occurring. If you have any question regarding how to improve your indoor air quality give us a call and we can set up an appointment. The indoor air quality is as important as the air quality outdoors, especially when a wildfire is present.

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