The spike in air pollution comes from wildfires that have been raging in the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Nova Scotia. `
” Due to the very low winds, a band of smoke will continue to drift across the east central and southeast Minnesota area today.
Canada is experiencing one of the worst starts to its wildfire season ever recorded. More than 6. 7 million acres in the country have already burned in 2023, federal officials said last week.
In Quebec, around 14,000 people were forced to evacuate, and more than 150 fires are still ablaze in the province, according to CBC News. Further east, in Nova Scotia, officials said Sunday that one wildfire had been contained but a second, covering nearly 100 square miles, was still burning out of control, The Associated Press reported.
In recent days, smoke from the fires has been drifting over the northeastern United States and settling across the Midwest. Air pollution alerts were sent out across all regions, especially for those “sensitive” groups, such as children, elderly adults and people who have asthma or other respiratory problems.
Air pollution caused by wildfire smoke is a major health concern in the U.S., and it’s getting worse. Stanford University researchers found that the number of people who experienced at least one day with unhealthy air quality because of smoke rose by 27 times over the last decade.
Small particles in smoke that are less than 2. 5 micrometers in diameter — about 4% of the diameter of an average human hair — are of particular concern to air quality researchers.
“These are the particles that are small enough to breathe in and can cause cardiovascular issues,” said Brett Palm, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.
Exposure to this kind of pollution can cause inflammation and weaken the immune system, particularly when the tiny particles penetrate the lungs and enter the bloodstream. Particulate pollutants may cause asthma or lung cancer, as well as other lung conditions ,, especially in groups at risk, such older adults, pregnant women, children, and infants.
The article Air pollution levels plummet in some parts of America as wildfires rage across Canada first appeared on NBC News .