Friday, October 22, 2021

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Some states entice people back to the workplace by increasing safety standards and higher minimum wage; Bannon held in Contempt of Congress; and the latest cyber security concerns.

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House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress; Trump announces new social media platform TRUTH Social; and the Biden administration says it will continue to expel migrants under Title 42.

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An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

Wildfires Make Outside, Inside Air Quality Unhealthy

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Friday, September 10, 2021   

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Smoke from the massive wildfires, along with the summer heat, is driving millions of Americans indoors.

Experts advised people to pay attention to their indoor air quality. The idea is to avoid anything that burns, particularly gas stoves.

Dr. Lisa Patel, clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at Stanford School of Medicine, said gas stoves give off nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and microscopic irritants called particulate matter.

"We can inhale them," Patel explained. "They enter our lungs and into our bodies and can cause things like heart attack, stroke, respiratory infections or asthma."

Patel advised on poor air-quality days, when people cannot open their windows, they should cook with the microwave or an electric appliance such as a griddle, crock pot or rice cooker. If you must turn on the burner, be sure to turn on your range hood and consider using an air purifier.

Gas dryers, furnaces and water heaters, which vent to the outdoors, also burn methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

Barbara Gottlieb, director of environment and health at the national office of Physicians for Social Responsibility, said states needs to move toward homes and buildings that run entirely on electricity derived from clean energy, and stop burning natural gas.

"Its power, in terms of trapping heat in the atmosphere, is more than 80 times that of carbon dioxide over a short time frame," Gottlieb noted. "So for the sake of climate, you want to reduce your use of methane every way that you can."

The New Mexico departments of Environment and Economic Development announced a joint initiative last month to conduct advanced air-quality monitoring throughout the state using high-altitude, solar-powered airships. The five-year project is designed to create a better understanding of air pollution and climate change.


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