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EPA & Wildfires

 

 

 

What is the EPA?

It’s the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The organization was created during the Clean Air Act of 1976 and provides federal oversight of establishing air quality standards for auto manufacturers and other factories.

Poor air quality leads to health issues such as asthma, lung cancer, and heart disease. According to the World Health Organization, it is a global health crisis.

 

What does the EPA have to do with wildfires?

Overwhelmingly wildfires are a result of climate change. The climate has gotten warmer and drier making it easier for them to spark and to cause major damage.

The EPA monitors air quality and wildfires are one of the worst culprits in creating poor air quality. They lead to an increase in PM2.5, which can result in premature death and reduced lung function from long-term exposure. The World Health Organization recently announced that outdoor air pollution was one of the largest global health threats.

Wildfire smoke can also get into the home and lead to poor indoor air quality.

 

I do not live anywhere near wildfires. Why do I care?

The soot, ash, and tiny particles produced by wildfires can travel several thousand miles. Iowa residents were greeted with hazy skies as a result of the 2020 California wildfires.

In addition, wildfires are one of the biggest culprits of poor air quality and as climate change accelerates, it’s likely that areas that have previously not dealt with wildfire outbreaks could be impacted.

Recently, the outbreak of wildfires throughout the country destroyed several acres throughout both city, state, and national parks.

In their 2020 State of the Air, the American Lung Association ranked the 25 worst cities for short-term particle pollution. All 25 of those cities reside in the western United States. If the air gets any worse or if wildfires continue to spark up, people may be forced to move because they lost their home.

 

How do wildfires impact my health?

Wildfires can cause symptoms ranging from minor health issues similar to allergies to major health issues that can cause premature death and reduced lung function. Children, elderly, and the immunocompromised are most susceptible to the effects from wildfires.

 

Healthy Air Solutions

Aprilaire Air PurifiersAprilaire Air FiltersAprilaire Healthy Air System

 

Resources:

EPA - https://www.epa.gov/natural-disasters/wildfires

American Lung Association - https://www.lung.org/clean-air/emergencies-and-natural-disasters/wildfires

CDC - https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/wildfires/index.html

NIFC - https://www.nifc.gov/fireInfo/nfn.htm

 

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