For the past month, the population of the Bay Area California that is more than seven million people lived through historic wildfires all over time, but this time it is just harder to breathe as the region has been under a 'Spare the Air' alert for a month which only means that when they inhale outdoor it is just hazardous for their health.
Aside from the said region, air quality is even worse in states of Oregon and Washington, and by this time the smoke had already stretched towards the area of East Coast and even went to Europe.
Based on a study which can be found in the Journal of the American Heart Association, wildfire smoke does not only contains numerous kinds of gases and particles from materials that fuel the fire but it also includes ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, polycyclic aromatic compounds, and particulate matter which is a kind of pollutant that is linked to be the cause of a number of cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses.
If a healthy person will be breathing an air tinged with smoke from these wildfires, they may feel stinging in their eyes while when they cough, they may have a hard time to recover to their normal breathing.
That observation and rection were only applicable if an individual will be inhaling the smoky air once but the effects of extended inhalation especially yearly are still not clear.
According to an atmospheric scientist at the University of California, Davis, Keith Bein, through their lifetime, people were just exposed once and or twice with this kind of situation.
Air quality in the United States is measured using a color-coded scale which is known as the AQI or the Air Quality Index which was established during 1977 when they passed the Clean Air Act.
The AQI stretches from 0 to 500 and is split into six categories, ranging from good to hazardous. The scale also measures the levels of five major pollutants which include carbon monoxide, ground-level ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter.
For a state like California, they are required to report these levels daily as States and local agencies in cities with a population over 350,000 are obliged to send the daily information.
To have accurate information about the daily levels of the pollutants, they are measured using instruments on the ground and satellites that continuously collect information regarding what is in the atmosphere which includes the particles from wildfires.
Adverse Effects on the Human Body
Environmental Health Sciences Core Center at the University of California, Davis' director, Irva Hertz-Picciotto shared that they know pretty well it causes eye irritation, wheezing, cough, and people with asthma are more prone to have an episode, National Geographic reported.
Moreover, an environmental health scientist at the University of British Columbia, Sarah Henderson also mentioned that smoke coming from wildfires are a very complex type of air pollution as it has many different gases in it, and the composition of the present small particles can be highly variable and it depends if it is burning or how is it burnt.
Thus, it can be noted that the decline in air quality due to the wildfires may cause adverse effects to the body of those who are constantly exposed to it.