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The Air-pocalypse Is At Hand!

Wild fires continue to turn skies red across the globe as our Oceans heat up hotter than a hot-tub!

Oil producers quietly reap record profits and pay off our politicians as the average person continues to pay for their greed! Will our children's children be so understanding and forgiving or will these people (those who survive) eventually face justice for attempts at killing the planet?

Wildfire smoke is a mixture of hazardous air pollutants, such PM2.5, NO2, ozone, aromatic hydrocarbons, or lead. In addition to contaminating the air with toxic pollutants, wildfires also simultaneously impact the climate by releasing large quantities of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The US recently experienced its worst toxic air pollution from wildfires in recorded history First in California then Canada and now Hawaii! These events that can lower a persons life expectancy over time by as much as nine years are becoming more common. Smoke billowing south from forest fires in Canada caused Americans to suffer the worst day of average exposure to such pollution since a dataset on smoky conditions started in 2006.

Stanford researchers calculated that the average American in 10 years (if global warming conditions don't change) can expect to be exposed exposed to 20.5 micrograms per cubic meter of small particulate matter carried within the plumes of smoke. These tiny flecks of soot, dust and other burned debris, known as PM2.5, bury deep in the lungs when inhaled and are linked to a variety of health conditions and can cause deaths. The Stanford research looks at wildfire smoke levels and gauges the average exposure for all Americans, and has done so since 2006.

In recent years, wildfires have made headlines as they blazed across the west, Alaska and Canada, burning more than 9.8 million acres just last year, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Not only were people forced to flee their homes, but smoke from fires in the north and west also threaten the lung health of Americans thousands of miles away. In fact, in one fire alone, wildfire pollutants reached people in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa from flames in northern Canada. So lack of proximity does not equate to safety!

Particle pollution triggers asthma attacks, heart attacks and strokes—and can kill. Studies of children in California found that children who breathed the smoky air during wildfires had more coughing, wheezing, bronchitis, colds, and were more likely to have to go to the doctor or to the hospital for respiratory causes, especially from asthma. Climate change has caused higher spring and summer temperatures and earlier spring snow-melt, which typically cause soils to be drier for longer, increasing the likelihood of drought and a longer wildfire season. And once wildfires ignite—whether by lightning strikes or a cigarette—these hot, dry conditions will increase the likelihood that the fire will be more intense and long-burning.

Wildfires threaten lives directly, and wildfire smoke can affect us all. They spread air pollution not only nearby, but thousands of miles away—causing breathing difficulties in even healthy individuals, not to mention children, older adults and those with heart disease, diabetes, asthma, COPD and other lung diseases. Take air quality seriously and be prepared because the air-pocalypse is at hand.


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