Tuesday, October 03, 2023

ANNALS OF DeSANTISTAN: Canadian wildfire smoke turns Orlando air quality unhealthy. (Orlando Sentinel)

Our frail planet is threatened by global warming and ocean level rise.  Too many of our lousy louche leaders,  funded by fossil fuel campaign contributions, are pig-ignorant about it, like our Flori-DUH Boy Governor, RONALD DION DeSANTIS.  When we woke up in St. Augustine this morning, October 3, 2023, did you detect something stinky in the air.  Canadian wildfire smoke.  To save our environment, vote Democratic and against the formidable forces of overdevelopment and death.  From Orlando Sentinel:

Canadian wildfire smoke turns Orlando air quality unhealthy unhealthy

News Alert

This fire and smoke map from the U.S. government’s fire.airnow.gov website indicates that that Florida is facing the brunt of dangerous smoke from Canadian wildfires on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2023. Each dot on the map represents an air quality reading for that area. Red dots indicate unhealthy air quality, orange dots indicate quality that is unhealthy for sensitive groups and yellow dots indicate moderate air quality. 

If you think it looks a little hazy outside, you’d be right. Central Florida has some of the worst air quality in the nation right now.

At noon Tuesday, Orlando had an air quality index of 160, making it unhealthy for the general public. Most of the pollution comes from Canadian wildfire smoke that has migrated down to the region, the National Weather Service Melbourne posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has advised healthy people to shorten the amount of time they are active outdoors. People with heart disease, lung disease, older adults, children and teens should avoid strenuous outdoor activities and move activities indoors when possible during times of unhealthy air quality, the EPA states.

AirNow, a government site run by the EPA and its partners, predicts that Wednesday’s air quality will be a little bit better in Central Florida, with only moderate levels of pollution. When air quality is moderate, it’s okay for most people to open windows and go outside if they don’t see or smell smoke. It may impact those who are unusually sensitive, the EPA reports.

Much of Florida’s current air pollution is from tiny inhalable particles (PM2.5) that are small enough to travel deep into the lungs and bloodstream. These tiny particles are a huge concern: A 2018 study suggests that air pollution with PM2.5 particulates is associated with 100,000 to 200,000 excess deaths annually in the United States and Canada.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that particle pollution has been linked to worsening of asthma symptoms, eye irritation, lung and throat irritation, trouble breathing, lung cancer and problems with babies at birth. Heart attacks can even be triggered in people with heart disease.

If strenuous outdoor activity is unavoidable during times of unhealthy air quality, certain masks can offer protection, according to the California Department of Public Health.

Masks that can protect against particles from wildfire smoke include particulate respirators with “NIOSH” and either “N95” or “P100” printed on them, a fact sheet from the department advises.Cloth masks, surgical masks and one-strap paper masks aren’t effective against smoke.

You can look up current air quality in your zipcode at airnow.gov.

Ccatherman@orlandosentinel.com; @CECatherman Twitter

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