Wildfire smoke changes dramatically as it ages, and that matters for downwind air quality – here's what we learned flying through smoke plumes

Thousands of chemical compounds in wildfire smoke are interacting with each other and sunlight as the smoke travels. For people downwind, it can become more toxic over time.

Brett B. Palm, Postdoctoral Researcher in Atmospheric Chemistry, University of Washington • conversation
Dec. 17, 2020 ~8 min

Studies link COVID-19 deaths to air pollution, raising questions about EPA's 'acceptable risk'

Air pollution can weaken people's respiratory, immune and cardiovascular systems, leaving them more vulnerable when they get COVID-19.

Michael Petroni, PhD Candidate and Research Fellow, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry • conversation
Oct. 30, 2020 ~7 min

Drive-throughs are busier than ever during the pandemic – but they're hotspots for air pollution

Staff and customers with underlying health conditions are likely to be most at risk at drive-through windows.

Anitha Chinnaswamy, Assistant Professor of Environment and Computing, Coventry University • conversation
Oct. 16, 2020 ~5 min

What's in wildfire smoke, and why is it so bad for your lungs?

Wildfires blanketing several Western cities are creating hazardous health conditions. Don't count on cloth masks to protect your lungs.

Luke Montrose, Assistant Professor of Community and Environmental Health, Boise State University • conversation
Aug. 20, 2020 ~7 min

What's in that wildfire smoke, and why is it so bad for your lungs?

Wildfires blanketing several Western cities are creating hazardous health conditions. Don't count on cloth masks to protect your lungs.

Luke Montrose, Assistant Professor of Community and Environmental Health, Boise State University • conversation
Aug. 20, 2020 ~7 min

Fine-particle air pollution has decreased across the US, but poor and minority communities are still the most polluted

A new study shows that while fine particle air pollution has declined nationwide over the past 40 years, the health and environmental benefits haven't been shared evenly.

Jay Shimshack, Associate Professor of Public Policy and Economics, University of Virginia • conversation
July 30, 2020 ~9 min

COVID-19 shutdowns are clearing the air, but pollution will return as economies reopen

From Nairobi to Los Angeles, pandemic lockdowns have cleared pollution from the skies. But those blue vistas may be temporary, and shutdowns aren't slowing climate change.

Daniel Cohan, Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering, Rice University • conversation
May 8, 2020 ~8 min

EPA decides to reject the latest science, endanger public health and ignore the law by keeping an outdated fine particle air pollution standard

After a 5-year review, the EPA is leaving US standards for fine particle air pollution unchanged, even though recent studies suggest that tightening them could save thousands of lives yearly.

H. Christopher Frey, Glenn E. Futrell Distinguished University Professor of Environmental Engineering, North Carolina State University • conversation
May 1, 2020 ~9 min

Air pollution kills thousands of Americans every year – here's a low-cost strategy to reduce the toll

A new study takes an innovative approach to reducing fine particle air pollution and spotlights key sources: factories that burn coal and oil, petrochemical plants and burning wood for home heating.

Yang Ou, Postdoctoral Associate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory • conversation
Feb. 21, 2020 ~9 min

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