USA

How to protect yourself from Canada’s wildfire smoke: NPR

A man speaks on his mobile phone Wednesday from Fort Lee, N.J., looking out over the George Washington Bridge through the fog.

Seth Wenig/AP


hide caption

toggle caption

Seth Wenig/AP


A man speaks on his mobile phone Wednesday from Fort Lee, N.J., looking out over the George Washington Bridge through the fog.

Seth Wenig/AP

What is particulate matter and how should the AQI be interpreted?

Since wildfires in Canada suddenly sent hazy smoke across the border into parts of the Midwest, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic coast this week, there is much to learn.

according to National Weather ServiceUnhealthy air quality levels are expected to continue in the northeastern coast on Thursday, with smoke moving into the interior of the northeast and the Ohio Valley on Friday.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the more technical wildfire-related terms you might hear, and the experts’ tips on how best to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Particulate Matter: Substances that make wildfire smoke dangerous

The wildfire smoke coming in from Canada contains something called particulate matter.

These are small airborne solid and liquid droplets that can be harmful to human health. Wildfires are a major source of particulate matter in the atmosphere.

Larger particulate matter (called PM)Ten), it can irritate the eyes, nose and throat. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But smaller particulate matter (called PM)2.5) seems to be even worse, as fine particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and blood.

Breathing wildfire smoke is dangerous, and people with lung or heart problems, the elderly, and young children face an even greater risk.

What is the Air Quality Index (AQI)?

You may have seen numbers and colors representing the air quality in your area. Perhaps it is air quality indexor AQI.

This is a measurement system used by the Environmental Protection Agency to describe how safe or unsafe the air in a particular area is.

Air quality is quantified using a scale ranging from 0 to 500, with lower numbers indicating better air quality and above 300 being dangerous.

The numerical scale is divided into color-coded sections to help people understand the situation in their area.

  • 0-50 is “good” air quality and color is green.
  • 51-100 is “medium” and yellow
  • 101-150 are “unhealthy for certain groups”, orange
  • 151-200 is “unhealthy” and red
  • 201-300 is “extremely unhealthy” and purple
  • 301 and above is “dangerous” and maroon

Particulate matter is one of the contaminants used to determine AQIs.

Tips to keep you and your loved ones safe

Reduce your exposure to particulate matter in wildfire smoke by staying indoors as much as possible, wearing an N95 or similar mask outdoors, and limiting strenuous activity.

University of Denver Professor Alex Huffman told Colorado Public Radio You can also monitor the air quality around you, use quality air filters in your home, and seal door and window openings.

Your four-legged friends are also at risk from wildfire smoke.

according to American Veterinary Medical AssociationWhen air quality is poor, pets should stay indoors as much as possible and only take short outdoor toilet breaks. Birds should never go outside when there is smoke.

Keep your dog hydrated and engaged in indoor activities such as hide-and-seek, fetch, and review of basic commands. rover.com.

Experts also recommend that pet owners: keep your travel bag Store pet food, water, medicine, first aid supplies, leashes and harnesses, and toys in case your family needs to evacuate.



Summarize this content to 100 words

A man speaks on his mobile phone Wednesday from Fort Lee, N.J., looking out over the George Washington Bridge through the fog.

Seth Wenig/AP

hide caption

toggle caption

Seth Wenig/AP

A man speaks on his mobile phone Wednesday from Fort Lee, N.J., looking out over the George Washington Bridge through the fog.

Seth Wenig/AP

What is particulate matter and how should the AQI be interpreted? Since wildfires in Canada suddenly sent hazy smoke across the border into parts of the Midwest, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic coast this week, there is much to learn. according to National Weather ServiceUnhealthy air quality levels are expected to continue in the northeastern coast on Thursday, with smoke moving into the interior of the northeast and the Ohio Valley on Friday.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the more technical wildfire-related terms you might hear, and the experts’ tips on how best to protect yourself and your loved ones. Particulate Matter: Substances that make wildfire smoke dangerous The wildfire smoke coming in from Canada contains something called particulate matter. These are small airborne solid and liquid droplets that can be harmful to human health. Wildfires are a major source of particulate matter in the atmosphere.

Larger particulate matter (called PM)Ten), it can irritate the eyes, nose and throat. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But smaller particulate matter (called PM)2.5) seems to be even worse, as fine particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and blood. Breathing wildfire smoke is dangerous, and people with lung or heart problems, the elderly, and young children face an even greater risk. What is the Air Quality Index (AQI)? You may have seen numbers and colors representing the air quality in your area. Perhaps it is air quality indexor AQI. This is a measurement system used by the Environmental Protection Agency to describe how safe or unsafe the air in a particular area is.

Air quality is quantified using a scale ranging from 0 to 500, with lower numbers indicating better air quality and above 300 being dangerous. The numerical scale is divided into color-coded sections to help people understand the situation in their area. 0-50 is “good” air quality and color is green. 51-100 is “medium” and yellow 101-150 are “unhealthy for certain groups”, orange 151-200 is “unhealthy” and red 201-300 is “extremely unhealthy” and purple 301 and above is “dangerous” and maroon
Air quality alerts are issued based on the Air Quality Index (AQI). Do you know what these numbers and their corresponding levels mean? See the chart below for more details. For more information on air quality safety, please visit: https://t.co/DvoC6VnbGO pic.twitter.com/ch6tDCyQpe— Erie County Health Department 😷 (@ECDOH) June 7, 2023

Particulate matter is one of the contaminants used to determine AQIs. Tips to keep you and your loved ones safe Reduce your exposure to particulate matter in wildfire smoke by staying indoors as much as possible, wearing an N95 or similar mask outdoors, and limiting strenuous activity. University of Denver Professor Alex Huffman told Colorado Public Radio You can also monitor the air quality around you, use quality air filters in your home, and seal door and window openings.

Your four-legged friends are also at risk from wildfire smoke.

according to American Veterinary Medical AssociationWhen air quality is poor, pets should stay indoors as much as possible and only take short outdoor toilet breaks. Birds should never go outside when there is smoke.

Keep your dog hydrated and engaged in indoor activities such as hide-and-seek, fetch, and review of basic commands. rover.com. Experts also recommend that pet owners: keep your travel bag Store pet food, water, medicine, first aid supplies, leashes and harnesses, and toys in case your family needs to evacuate.

https://www.npr.org/2023/06/08/1180869821/wildfire-smoke-particulate-matter-protection How to protect yourself from Canada’s wildfire smoke: NPR

Back to top button