New York TimesAugust 16, 2021 11:55:45 IST
As wildfire fires intensified in California, a devastating plume of smoke blew air into Salt Lake City and Denver. Last month, fires in western Canada and the Pacific Northwest turned the sun red to New York City.
When combined with the same symptoms as covad-19, it can cause a variety of health problems, especially from severe eye and throat inflammation to severe heart and respiratory problems. .. Weakening the immune system due to exposure to forest smoke last summer could be linked to thousands of additional infections and COVID-19 percent deaths, according to a study published last week. There is sex.
Smoke exposure and coronavirus cause similar risks, but different measures are needed to protect yourself from each other. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cloth masks used to reduce the spread of the virus provide little protection against harmful particles in forest fires. ..
Hundreds of thousands of acres are burning in the west and the fire season is not over yet, here’s a guide on how to protect yourself.
What are the harmful effects of wildfire smoke?
Today, wildfires, which cover most of the West, contain a mixture of gases and particles from burning trees and plants. The smallest of these particles (less than 2.5 microns, called PM 2.5) can breathe deeply into the lungs and pose a serious health risk.
Frequent or prolonged exposure to these particles may increase the risk of health problems. These hazards increase as fires occur more frequently, last longer, and go farther.
“People are exposed to wildfires, asthma and the COPD emergency room when the community is exposed to wildfires,” says Mary Prinniki, an air pollution health expert at Stanford University. It aggravates pneumonia and acute bronchitis. ”
Exposure to wildfires increases the risk of stroke and can lead to pregnancy-related complications.
What is the best way to protect yourself from the harmful effects of wildfire smoke?
Due to the small size of PM 2.5, most masks are not very effective in protecting you from toxins. According to the CDC, N95 and KN95 respiratory organs can be protected from forest fires and coronavirus. However, due to the limited supply of N95 respirators, CDC is not recommended for use outside of medical practice.
The best protection against smoke is to limit exposure.
“Don’t worry if it stinks,” says Prinniki, who advises restricting physical activity. Do not do anything that would make him breathe deeply.
Keep your windows closed and use a portable air filter to protect your home as much as possible. Create a “clean room” (a special room where you can close your windows and doors and run your fans, air conditioners and portable air filters) and spend as much time as possible.
How can I check the smoke situation around me?
Check your AQI (Air Quality Index) to make sure air quality is in a healthy range before you spend time outdoors.
The Air Quality Indicator, set up by the Environmental Protection Agency, measures the levels of five pollutants: terrestrial ozone, trace elements, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide.
The index works from 0 to 500. If the number is less than 100, air pollution is less likely to have serious health consequences. Outdoor air conditioning is safe for many when the index is over 100, but some people, the elderly, children and people with heart or lung disease are at risk. More than 200 numbers are considered “very healthy.”
AQI can be found locally on EPA’s AirNow website. Also, there are separate fire and smoke maps.
Sophie Kasakobe 2021 New York Times Company
This article was originally published in the New York Times.
Can the same mask used for COVID-19 protect me from wildfire smoke? -Technology News, First Post
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