IN SEARCH OF FRESH AIR
IN SEARCH OF FRESH AIR
In the last two years, the United States was one of the countries most affected by forest fires caused by high temperatures, and it drastically affected the air quality generating massive and toxic air masses. This worried some scientists at the University of California at Davis, as when researching the composition of the smoke, they identified particles of lead, as well as other metals and remnants of what had been burned in the affected areas. Without addressing climate change, extreme heat and drought will create conditions for wildfires, producing the harmful smoke that now spreads across the country, affecting people.
This may sound silly, but for a healthy person exposed to these levels of smoke for a short period of time each year, the short-term threats beyond irritated throat or eyes are relatively low, explains Sarah Henderson, environmental health scientist at the University of British Columbia, but as smoke spreads across the United States and exposes millions of people, the health impact is more widespread among the most vulnerable. In addition to causing respiratory problems, air pollution can lead to heart problems. What is even more worrying for researchers is that this toxic smoke is no longer only affecting the state of California, it is already spreading to other cities and even other states, polluting more regions. It has been proven in a recent survey, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that smoke from these fires makes up 25% of North American pollution. Which reveals that it is no longer a state problem, but a national one.
What's more, smoke from forest fires can impair the immune system's ability to fight covid-19 infections and emerging variants as it is already fighting pollution. Studies show that people exposed to air pollution are more likely to die from covid-19. The wildfires that hit the west coast of the United States continue to leave thousands of people on alert. The death toll released on 12/09/2020, revealed that it rose from 7 to 28 people. For the first time in more than 33 years, the affected area of California passed the two million hectare mark (equivalent to 809 thousand hectares).
That is why we ask for greater dedication and care on the part of the Government and Legislators in this matter, such as introducing laws with the objective of improving forest management, in addition to training more firefighters and making infrastructure more resistant to fire. It would also be interesting to apply fire alerts in the vicinity through SMS messages and local evacuation sirens for the safety of the population.We urgently request the Government's intervention in this cause, as not only the air is at risk, but the general health of the population, the fauna and flora are also asking for HELP!