Air Quality and Early-Life Mortality – Wildfires Are Destroying Our Air

The increasing temperatures and climate change have fueled the severity of the wildfires. The Blue Cut fire has led to the evacuation of nearly 80,000 people. In addition to this, the Sand fire, caused 20,000 to immediately leave their homes. The drought conditions have helped to spread the fire about 57 square miles. This measures as much as the city of San Francisco.

Air pollution kills thousands of America every year!

This isn’t a problem only America is facing. The New Delhi residents have swarmed the local hospitals complaining that they cannot breathe properly. The problem was so bad that cricket players were forced to put on anti-pollution masks during a national match.

Within a week the wildfire blazing through Northern California in has created as much air pollution as vehicles did in the whole state for one year. In counties such as Idaho, Montana, and Utah, there has been released more than 10,000 tons of Particular Matter 2.5. This equals on-road moving vehicles in California for the entire year.

There’s not much difference between the air pollution created by cars and pollution released by wildfire. Its chemical structure will affect the body. Thus, if you’re exposed to particles from wildfire smoke, you will risk causing respiratory troubles. This comes with a mixture of chest pains, fast heartbeats, and asthma attacks.

Health Crisis

If this isn’t shocking, it was also highlighted that this type of air pollution increases the risk of infant mortality. The exposure in the womb to air pollution, in general, can lead to a pattern of early birth and birth defects. If a pregnant woman is exposed to this type of smoke, there’s a possibility that she would experience a still-birth.

I researched done by the Harvard University has highlighted that by the middle of this century, wildfires will increase the amount of fine particulate matter in the air from 46% to 70% and the amount of black carbon will be increased from 20% to 27%.

Not only these statistics will be raised. The health price tag would reach a staggering price of $740,000 in direct costs and another $14bn in overall costs that will cover the expenses of respiratory disease and infant death.

Even though air pollution will not be put on a death certificate, we cannot ignore the health problems that result due to the high exposure. Lung cancer and emphysema are fatal and they can be caused because of wildfire smoke. It has been noted that air pollution was responsible for 6.1 million deaths and accounted for 12% of the global death toll in 2016. The air we breathe is one of the greatest silent killers of our age. You are suffering and so are your children.

What Can You Do

Whilst you may believe that the best way to improve the air quality inside of your home is by opening a window, this isn’t always a good choice. There are other much better and more effective ways. There’s no point of letting air from the outside inside of the home if it’s massively polluted. These are the most easier and cheapest ways:

  • Light up outside – Once you exhale the smoke from a cigarette, you will eliminate 4,000 different chemicals. You will not be the only one suffering. Secondhand exposure to cigarette smoke is just as bad as the person who is directly inhaling. Thus, if you smoke around children or pets, in a way, you are making them smoke as well. The best thing you can do is to smoke outdoors far away from your house
  • Fill your home with air-filtering plants – Some houseplants have the capabilities of removing toxic agents such as benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde from the air. Thus, you will breathe a cleaner air. For example, you should have at least one English ivy, Peace lily, and Snake plant. They are able to remove all of the above contaminants and ammonia. Your house will look beautiful whilst you will ensure a clean air
  • Keep humidity low – It’s very important that the humidity levels should be between 30% and 50%. This is because you want to eliminate the possibility of mold growth and dust mites. The only way to efficiently do this is by purchasing a dehumidifier. Ensure that it has a HEPA filter and it covers the area of your room. Other than that, there is no other maintenance required. It’s so great and efficient that you can even keep your windows open for the whole day

It’s best that you focus on the industrial or large-sized dehumidifier if you have been exposed to wildfire smoke. Some of them have a rating of 30 to 1200 liters. This is more than enough if you live in a large home. They are portable and can be permanently fitted. Thus, if you want to ensure that you will never have to worry about mold growth, you should thoroughly consider a dehumidifier that has a large capacity.

It’s extremely important that you look after your health. Once you develop respiratory problems, it will be very consuming and expensive to make yourself better. Once you reach a critical stage, you can no longer fix your lungs. In addition to this, it’s not fair that your children are not provided with as much clean air as possible, thus, it’s important that you do everything that you possibly can to protect them.