Wildfire smoke often drifts thousands of miles away from the source. Satellites capable of tracking the movement and dispersal of smoke plumes have collected data proving that smoke often drifts at high altitudes. Carried on high moving air currents, wildfire smoke can eventually reach faraway areas of urban development. Once it reaches a densely populated area, the wildfire smoke reacts with other pollutants in the atmosphere. The result is elevated ozone levels far from the source of the smoke.
In urban areas, elevated ozone levels pose major health risks. Breathing air that contains ozone can bring on a string of symptoms, including coughing, nasal congestion, and throat irritation. While these symptoms are bothersome for healthy persons, ozone also has a detrimental, potentially serious effect on individuals suffering from asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema.
According to The Journal of the American Heart Association, there is a link between exposure to wildfire smoke particles and acute heart disease. Research reported in The Journal concluded that fine smoke particles, those with a diameter of 2.5 microns or less, produce an increased short-term risk of heart attack. An increase in hospital emergency room visits is also associated with exposure to fine smoke particles produced by wildfire.
One specific study cited in The Journala 6.9 percent increase in heart attacks over a 2-month period due to wildfire smoke exposure in the areas in and around Victoria, Australia. Men specifically were more affected by smoke exposure, although individuals over 65 also appeared to have an increased risk or suffering from cardiac arrest.
The United States has experienced an increase in the frequency and severity of wildfires in recent years. Experts predict this trend to continue to rise. Thankfully, there are safety measures you can take to keep you and your loved ones safe should a wildfire occur in your area.
Wildfire smoke can pose a serious threat to your health, even when the wildfire is located some distance away. It is important to take the threat seriously and know the steps you can take to help protect yourself and your family from harm.
Air Purifiers for Wildfire Smoke:
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