Thursday, September 16, 2021


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.


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.


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.

Western Wildfire Smoke Poses Health Hazard for NC Residents


Thursday, August 5, 2021   

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Massive wildfires in the Western U.S. and Canada have triggered poor air quality in North Carolina over the past few weeks, and health experts say it is important for residents to know traveling smoke can cause more than hazy skies.

Dr. Stephanie Johannes, pediatrician and health programs manager for CleanAIRE NC, said research shows tiny particles can penetrate the lungs and cause a range of health problems.

"We know that when that air from the West Coast shows up here in North Carolina, it's affecting our air quality here," Johannes explained. "And it's really putting people - everybody - at risk for health problems, but especially those people that already have some heart or lung condition, especially people with asthma."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said wildfire smoke can make people prone to lung infections, including the coronavirus. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a warmer and drier climate is expected to lead to more frequent and intense fires and smoke plumes, which in turn are expected to affect more people.

Johannes pointed to research published earlier this year by scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, which found the fine particles in wildfire smoke can cause more harm to human lungs than particulate matter from other sources such as car exhaust.

"There's a lot of data that shows that this particular kind of pollution contributes to symptoms like eye and respiratory-tract infections," Johannes noted. "But also to really severe things, worsening heart and lung conditions that people have and even causing premature death."

She encouraged families with young children, the elderly and those with a chronic disease to regularly check their local air-quality index at Air-quality indexes use ozone and particle pollution measurements from zero to 300.

"Anything over 100 is unhealthy for people in those sensitive groups," Johannes advised. "And anything over 150 is something that's risky, really, for everybody."

Johannes recommended planning outdoor activities or exercising on lower air-pollution days, and said it is important to talk to your doctor or child's pediatrician about air-quality concerns.

Disclosure: CleanAIRE NC contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment, Environmental Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
Oregon's Hispanic population grew 30% from 2010 to 2020. (Gstudio/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Hispanic Heritage Month began this week, and will be celebrated through Oct. 15. Oregon has a rapidly growing Hispanic population…

Social Issues

SILVER SPRING, Md. -- As the Biden administration challenges a Texas law restricting abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, Planned Parenthood for …

Social Issues

CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Social Security, the program credited with lifting 15 million older residents in Wyoming and across the U.S. out of poverty…

Arkansas' rental-assistance program has distributed funds to more than 3,200 households in the state. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas has made some changes to its state rent relief program to make it easier to distribute assistance to residents…


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The historic clean-energy bill signed into Illinois law yesterday includes measures from closing coal and natural gas plants by 2…

Indiana ranks 44th out of 50 states for bankruptcy. (Andriy Blokhin/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

INDIANAPOLIS -- A new coalition is forming to push back against predatory lending and urge state lawmakers to take action to protect consumers…

Social Issues

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- More than 200 high earners have written a letter urging Congress to raise taxes to help support social safety-net programs that …

Health and Wellness

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Limiting women's access to abortion and other reproductive health care can have a devastating impact on state economies. According …


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