by Alex Lloyd Gross
June 29, 2023
If you have ventured outside you might have smelled something burning. Perhaps you see things through a haze. It’s due to the massive wild fires burning in Canada and it’s making people sick. Those with respiratory problems are urged to stay inside. In Philadelphia, all public pools have closed.
The region is currently in a code red. Conditions will likely be worse in the morning as a natural weather phenomenon called an atmospheric inversion will keep smoke filled air closer to the surface and prevent air from higher elevations to mix with air closer to the ground. Residents are encouraged to check www.airnow.gov for current conditions in their area.
People are urged to use fans to circulate air inside their home, avoid any outdoor burning and physical activity, officials said in an issued statement.
Fine particulate matter (or PM-2.5) comes in many sizes and shapes and can be made up of hundreds of different chemicals. Some are emitted directly from a source, such as construction sites, unpaved roads, fields, smokestacks, or fires. Most particles form in the atmosphere as a result of complex reactions of chemicals such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides (called “precursors”), which are pollutants emitted from power plants, industries, and automobiles.