Wednesday, June 7, 2023

PSA: Ontario Pollution Concentrations

You can find how much particulate matter is in the air in your community at this link, Click on the little graph beside the number to see, in real time, how things are right now and whether or not it's okay to hang out outside or even open a window. Air quality index forecasts are here, and a fire and smoke map is here.

You can tape a MERV11 (Filtrete 1500) filter or better to open windows to filter out any pollutants, and an N95 will filter out particles, but can't filter gases like carbon monoxide (or oxygen, as we've been explaining for years now), so check those levels at the first link at the top of this post. 

If you haven't been masking for Covid because you've been convinced masks don't work and suffocate people or otherwise harm them, it's time to get over that and get comfortable wearing them outside when the ratings in your area are higher than normal. If it's yellow, you're okay to be outside if you're not in the 'sensitive' class: asthma, elderly, children. But avoid the outdoors if it's orange or red.

And, don't forget, Ford cut the firefighting budget by 67% back in 2019. He says we'll be fine, but I'm not so sure. 

In case you think it's fine to just ignore the smokey hazy enveloping the area, experts say
"Some research suggests that wildfire smoke 'may be more toxic' to the lungs than standard urban air pollution since it contains a distinct mix of particulates that activate inflammatory cells 'deep in the lungs' while hindering other cells that can dampen the inflammatory response later. These same particles also can migrate from the lungs and 'disrupt and upset the natural tone of blood vessels."

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