donation
To request Mental Health
Services or to access Mental
Health Crisis Services Call:
1-800-375-4357

Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
Obesity Could Raise Odds for 'Long-Haul' COVID SymptomsSmokers, Obese People Need Major Heart Interventions Earlier in LifeOld Age No Bar to Successful Heart Transplant, Study FindsCOVID Antibody Treatment Is Safe, Effective in Transplant PatientsExpiration Dates on Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccine ExtendedWill People Really Need a Yearly COVID Booster Vaccine?America Is Losing the War Against DiabetesGene Editing Technique Corrects Sickle Cell Disease in MiceCOVID Vaccines Appear Safe for People With IBDNew Treatment Fights Rare Cases of Vaccine-Linked Blood ClotsWoman Dies From Dengue Fever Acquired in FloridaWhy a COVID Diagnosis Could Cost You Way More Money in 2021Vaccinations More Urgent as Variant That Crippled India Shows Up in the U.S.Think You Can Skip That Annual Physical?  Think AgainReal-World Study Shows Power of Pfizer, Moderna Vaccines to Prevent COVIDDeath Rates Are Rising Across Rural AmericaWhat Diet Is Most Likely to Help Ease Crohn's Disease?'Breakthrough' COVID Infections May Be Common in Vaccinated Transplant PatientsPeople of Color Have Twice the Risk of Dying After Brain Injury, Study FindsStudy Pinpoints Cancer Patients at Highest Risk From COVIDMany Existing Drugs Could Be Potent COVID Fighters: StudyAntibiotics Won't Help Fight Lung-Scarring Disease IDF: StudyNew Disabilities Plague Half of COVID Survivors After Hospital DischargeDeclining Vaccination Rates Threaten Biden's July 4 GoalYour Doctor Appointments Might Look Different Post-PandemicPrior COVID Infection May Shield You From Another for at Least 10 MonthsTeens: You Got Your COVID Vaccine, What Now?White House Lists Countries Getting First Batch of Extra COVID VaccinesStrokes Hitting COVID Patients Are More Severe: StudyAverage COVID Hospital Bill for U.S. Seniors Nearly $22,000Deep Brain Stimulation Therapy May Help Parkinson's Patients Long TermNIH Starts Trial Assessing 'Mix & Match' COVID Vaccine ApproachAllergy Treatment Crucial If Your Child Has AsthmaScientists Discover Rare Form of ALS That Can Strike KidsGlobal Warming to Blame for 1 in 3 Heat-Related Deaths WorldwideBlood Sugar Tests Using Sweat, Not Blood? They Could Be on the WayU.S. Set to Send Millions of COVID Vaccines to Countries in NeedAs Teen, He Made News Opposing Anti-Vax Mom. Now, He's Urging COVID Shots for YouthSmog Might Damage Your Sense of SmellU.S. Blood Supply Is Safe From Coronavirus, Study FindsAmericans' Lung Health: The Poor Suffer MostLosing Weight Can Beat Diabetes and Also Help the HeartIs It COVID-19 or Seasonal Allergies?Many Americans Confused About Sunscreens: PollAnother Study Finds Routine Vaccines Safe for Kids, AdultsDon't Delay Lung Cancer Surgery, Study SuggestsPoll Finds Herd Immunity in U.S. Possible by SummerDebunking Myths That Have Some Parents Resisting COVID Vaccines for TeensExperimental Treatment Offers New Hope Against LupusMany Pre-Surgery Tests Are Useless, So Why Are Hospitals Still Using Them?
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Cancer
Men's Health
Women's Health

Wildfires Are Changing the Seasonal Air Quality of the U.S. West

HealthDay News
by Robert Preidt
Updated: May 4th 2021

new article illustration

TUESDAY, May 4, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Increasing numbers of wildfires are making poor air quality more common throughout the Western United States, according to a new study.

The findings suggest that many cities may soon have trouble meeting air quality standards, said lead author Kai Wilmot, a doctoral student in atmospheric sciences at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Wilmot's team examined Western air quality patterns from 2000 to 2019 and found a correlation with wildfire activity. Over the period, average air quality was worsening in the Pacific Northwest during Augusts when there was wildfire smoke.

"That's pretty dramatic that extreme events are strong enough to pull the mean up so that we're seeing an overall increase in particulate matter during August across much of the Pacific Northwest and portions of California," Wilmot said in a university news release. "The Pacific Northwest seems like it's just really getting the brunt of it."

The findings were recently published online in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

"In a big picture sense, we can expect it to get worse," said Wilmot, a Pacific Northwest native.

He predicted that between now and 2050, fire areas in the Western United States will increase, worsening air quality throughout the region.

"If we extrapolate our trends forward, it seems to indicate that a lot of urban centers are going to have trouble in meeting air quality standards in as little time as 15 years," Wilmot said.

Previous studies have suggested that the future will bring more wildfires in the Western U.S., increasing people's exposure to smoke and the associated health risks.

Wilmot said his next step is to create simulation models to make a more precise link between wildfire smoke in cities and the areas where that smoke originates.

"The big picture is aiming to help forest management in terms of identifying wildfire emissions hotspots that are particularly relevant to air quality in the Western U.S., such that if we had funding to spend on some sort of intervention to limit wildfire emissions, we would know where to allocate those funds first to get the most out of it," Wilmot said.

More information

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has more on the health risks of wildfire smoke.

SOURCE: University of Utah, news release, April 30, 2021