Wildfires in California pose crisis for human health and air quality, experts say

February 13, 2019

One particular hazard of the California is their negative impact on air quality and the subsequent health issues that arise from this. Some say it measures up to a public health crisis. One of the many challenges of this issue is the ability to measure air pollution.

Current methods are meant for long-term measurements and can miss much fouler short-term measurements. John Balmes, Professor at the School of Public Health, said the index is “not designed for wildfire smoke.”

Solutions like wearing masks can only be so effective. Wildfire smoke is a formidable health threat that Balmes said is “pretty much like cigarette smoke, minus the nicotine.”

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