Local Concerns: Smoke Pollution & Particulate Matter
Most at Risk: Young and Elderly
Roseville, CA- As California fires bring more devastation, one of the significant impacts that extend far beyond the immediate fire zone is widespread smoke and the associated health risks. Smoke and particulate matter can have serious health effects, especially on children and older adults.
As we’ve reported before, Placer County already ranks among the worst air quality in the entire United States. In 2018, the deadly Camp Fire is delivering hazardous amounts of smoke to large portions of California, including Placer and Sacramento counties.
The greater attention to air quality has residents wondering about the potential health impacts of smoke and Particulate Matter.
(School bus navigates smoke-filled intersection of Pleasant Grove and Foothills Blvd.)
For a quick reference, we turned to the EPA for a better understanding.
Particulate Matter Health Effects
The size of particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems. Small particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter pose the greatest problems, because they can get deep into your lungs, and some may even get into your bloodstream.
Exposure to such particles can affect both your lungs and your heart. Numerous scientific studies have linked particle pollution exposure to a variety of problems, including:
premature death in people with heart or lung disease
nonfatal heart attacks
decreased lung function
increased respiratory symptoms, such as irritation of the airways, coughing or difficulty breathing.
People with heart or lung diseases, children, and older adults are the most likely to be affected by particle pollution exposure.