Saturday, September 18, 2021

Play

Hundreds of wealthy Americans back the Biden Build Back Better Act; Roger Stone is served with a warrant on live radio; and family caregivers are in need of assistance.

Play

Virginia gubernatorial candidates debate; former federal prosecutor Michael Sussmann indicted for lying to FBI; lawmakers set to question oil industry over climate disinformation; and FDA scientists express skepticism over booster shots.

Play

Lawsuits stall debt relief for America's Black farmers; Idaho hospitals using "critical care" protocols; grant money boosts rural towns in Utah and more conservation acreage could protect the iconic sage grouse.

Tiny Particles in Wildfire Smoke Pose Health Risks

Play

Tuesday, July 27, 2021   

BOISE, Idaho -- Wildfires are affecting air quality across the West, bringing hidden dangers in smoke that can harm people's health.

The Boise-based National Interagency Fire Center already has moved the country into the highest fire-preparedness status, level five.

Dr. Luke Montrose, environmental toxicologist and assistant professor of Community and Environmental Health at Boise State University, said dangerous particulate matter in wildfire smoke, known as PM 2.5, is small enough to get past the body's normal line of defense and deep into the lungs.

"These particles are really small," Montrose explained. "And you can think of them as vehicles that carry chemicals into our lungs."

Montrose cautioned repeated and chronic exposure to harmful particles reduces the ability of cells known as macrophages to clean up the lungs and activate the immune system's responses. Idaho currently has the highest number of active fires in the U.S. at 23.

Montrose advised the safest place for people facing bad air quality from blazes is in their homes.

"It is a really difficult thing to ask people to stay inside after we've been inside for so long with the COVID-19 pandemic, but unfortunately people are going to have to take an inventory of themselves," Montrose stated. "Who are they? Are they in a susceptible or vulnerable population when it comes to wildfire smoke exposure?"

Montrose noted air-purification units with HEPA filters can strain out harmful particles. But the filters have been hard to come by after last year's devastating wildfire season, so he suggested people can look up do-it-yourself tricks online for creating their own purification units.

Montrose recommended people watch the air quality in their area, and even help monitor it. While there are limitations to low-cost air-monitoring technology, he added the robust network captured on websites such as Purple Air provides insightful data.

"It's pretty fascinating to watch how those monitors change as the air quality or even the weather changes," Montrose remarked.


get more stories like this via email
A panel of House Democrats proposes raising $2.9 trillion in new taxes to pay for President Joe Biden's "Build Back Better" plan through higher tax rates for wealthy Americans. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

RICHMOND, Va. - As U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., takes heat this week for attending a posh fundraiser in a dress that said "Tax the …


Environment

EAST TROY, Wis. - Wisconsin farmers are looking ahead to the fall harvest, and those who use cover crops face a deadline to sign up for a research …

Social Issues

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The pandemic is shining a new light on the burdens felt by family caregivers, and a bill in Congress would remove some of the …


Republican lawmakers across the country have proposed legislation to limit or forbid the teaching of such concepts as racial equity and white privilege. (Kelly Lacy/Pexels)

Social Issues

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - State Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, is lashing out against the idea of Critical Race Theory, filing a bill to ban its use in all …

Social Issues

PORTLAND, Ore. - Wealthy Americans have a message for Congress: Tax us more. More than 200 high-income taxpayers and business owners have sent an …

Better flood resiliency is top of mind in New York, after scenes like the Long Island Expressway's partial shutdown in Tropical Storm Ida. But who will pay for it? (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

ALBANY, N.Y. - As a U.S. House committee debates the Biden administration's "Build Back Better" Act, a letter from more than 200 wealthy Americans …

Social Issues

By Sonali Kolhatkar for Yes! Media. Broadcast version by Lily Bohlke for Commonwealth News Service reporting for the YES! Media-Public News Service …

Social Issues

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - One out of every three people incarcerated in the United States has contracted COVID-19, and a new report shows how state …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021