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Residual Smoke From Fires Persists Over U.S., Resulting in Continued Health Condition Concerns That May Worsen


For the third year in a row vast and steadfast wildfires have turned much of California and this time the Angeles National Forest into a blazing inferno! So far the largest of the fires has burned through nearly 160,000 acres (246 square miles), amassed costs close to $45 million and destroyed 78 homes, two commercial buildings and dozens of outbuildings.

What no one is talking about is the potential toxic effects on you and your loved ones.

As massive smoke has and continues to dissipate across the United States it creates invisible particles that are health hazards for nearly everyone and can be hidden killers for those with lung and respiratory concerns.

People with lung conditions have the greatest risk while all others have increased health risks from what are becoming annual wildfires -- fires that spew toxins and cumulatively affect U.S. air quality each year.

Thousands have been evacuated to safety, but many will not be able to escape the threat that comes from the related air pollution. This includes not only those in Southern California but also those spread out across much of the United States.

How the Massive California Wildfire Air Pollution May be Impacting YOU

According to data from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), JPL’s Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument onboard NASA's Aqua satellite has detected carbon monoxide from the Station Fire launched as high as 27,000 feet into the atmosphere.

AIRS detected an abundance of carbon monoxide present at 18,000 feet, which is an area conducive to long-range transport of the smoke. The fire began on August 26, and by August 30 AIRS detected a smoke plume that stretched from Southern California across Nevada and Utah. On August 31, the smoke had reached Denver and continued to Texas on September 1. By September 2, the plume had reached the Louisiana Gulf Coast.

As stated on JPL’s Web site:

“As the plume moves further east, mixing of carbon monoxide down to Earth's surface could adversely impact air quality, as it has already done in Salt Lake City and Denver. Previous studies using AIRS data have documented the impact of distant fires on air quality in Houston and other locations.”

What are the Health Risks of Wildfire-Contaminated Air?

The majority of wildfire smoke is made up of water vapor, but it also contains gases and small particles including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, irritant volatile organic compounds, and air toxics, according to the San Diego Air Pollution Control District (SDAPCD).

When you breathe these particles in, they can build up in your respiratory system, resulting in burning eyes, cough, a runny nose and illnesses like bronchitis. Children and the elderly are particularly at risk from smoke-contaminated air, as are people with chronic illnesses. The particles in wildfire smoke can aggravate:

  • Heart disease such as congestive heart failure

  • Lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

  • Emphysema

  • Asthma

Part of what makes wildfire pollution so dangerous is that the tiny particles in the smoke -- they're smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter, which means several thousand of them could fit on the period at the end of a sentence -- reach the deepest recesses of your lungs and enter your bloodstream where they accelerate hardening of the arteries, negatively affecting heart function.

The tiny particles can actually overwhelm your lungs and mucus membranes, according to the American Lung Association of California, which results in mucus and soot build-up. This, in turn, increases your risk of infections like sinusitis and bronchitis.

If you have had a heart attack, being exposed to tiny particles will also increase your risk of having a second one.

Further, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoke from wildfires can cause:

  • Coughing

  • A scratchy throat

  • Irritated sinuses

  • Shortness of breath

  • Chest pain

  • Headaches

  • Stinging eyes

  • A runny nose

  • Asthma exacerbations

Among those with heart or lung disease, smoke might cause:

  • Chest pain

  • Rapid heartbeat

  • Shortness of breath

  • Fatigue

And if you have respiratory allergies, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), smoke-polluted air can lead to:

  • Inability to breathe normally

  • Cough with or without mucus

  • Chest discomfort

  • Wheezing and shortness of breath

Even healthy people can experience the above symptoms if smoke levels are high enough.

Knowing the cause is only half the battle. Learning what you can do about it is what matters most!

How to Determine the State of Your Home’s Air Quality … and How to Keep Your Indoor Air Pure

If you live in an area affected by wildfires, such as in these videos (even 40 miles or more from the fire!), you know that the air quality is poor if you see or smell smoke.

Los Angeles health officials recommend the following for people in the vicinity of wildfires:

  • Stay indoors and avoid unnecessary outdoor activity.

  • Do not use fireplaces, candles or vacuums (vacuuming will stir up particles that are in your home).

  • When indoors, keep windows and doors closed. Air conditioners can remove particles from the air, but residents are warned not to use air conditioners that draw in air only from the outside and do not have a recirculating option.

  • Don't smoke.

However, even areas far removed from the actual fires are impacted. You can find air quality index forecasts and current conditions in your area by viewing the Air Quality Index in Google Earth. Also click here for the U.S. Air Quality Smog Blog.

No matter where you live, be it in an area with wildfires or not, you should very seriously consider getting a very high-quality air purifier for your home.

How To Purify Your Home’s Air, Fast, NOW With PIONAIR

We’ve done the research and this is what we found:

With the PIONAIR Air Treatment System you can remove smoke particles, dust pet dander, mold, bacteria, pollen and more from your home and office air so you can breathe freely.

All PIONAIR Systems include a 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee!

And for a LIMITED TIME ONLY, Get $30 Off Each PIONAIR Air Treatment Unit, Plus FREE SHIPPING and a FREE MiniMate Refrigerator Unit!

PIONAIR air treatment Choose Your Pionair System and Order Now!

Indoor air can be two to 100 times more polluted than outdoor air, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, so air purifiers are becoming more and more of a necessity.

The challenge with most air purifiers, however, is that the air must be drawn to the unit, either through natural airflow or through the use of a fan. This method results in uneven treatment and can leave pockets of polluted air.

Unlike most air purifiers, the PIONAIR Air Treatment System, which highly recommends, doesn't wait for pollutants to contact a filter or plate. Instead, the PIONAIR generates air-purifying technology that migrates through the area and neutralizers organic odors, microbes and molds at their source.

As a result, the PIONAIR produces fresh, clean air throughout your home or office uniformly, by addressing the pollutant source, without the use of fans, filters or plates.

How does it work?

PIONAIR uses photocatalysis, which is designed to oxidize organic odors, germs, and fungi. The PIONAIR technology creates ultraviolet light rays, safe levels of ozone, and passive negative ions as part of your air treatment. This is not just any old air filter -- it is an air purifier that duplicates Nature's own methods of air cleaning and revitalization.

If you live in an area impacted by wildfires, having a PIONAIR system in your home is an absolute necessity. And for the rest of you, filtering your home’s air with PIONAIR can help keep you and your family healthy. It’s a sad fact, but air pollution is now a concern for nearly all of us.

Recommended Reading

Air Pollution Puts 2 Million Americans at Risk of Cancer, EPA Says

New Study Shows Toxic PAH Air Pollution Leads to Genetic Changes and Asthma -- Starting in the Womb


Yahoo News September 7, 2009 September 7, 2009

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology September 3, 2009

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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