Smoke From California Wildfires Affecting Millions Of People Far From Fire Zones

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Support for this podcast and the following message. Come from internet essentials from Comcast. Connecting more than six million low income people to low cost high speed internet at home. So students are ready for homework class graduation and more. Now, they're ready for anything the wildfires across California have killed more than fifty people and destroyed thousands of homes. Many more people are still missing and even before the fire zone even beyond the fire zone. Californians are feeling the effects of these fires smoke is blowing into the Los Angeles base in the central valley. Amazon Francisco Bay area public health officials say people should avoid exercising outside and should wear protective masks outdoors from member station. K Q E D in San Francisco. Raquel Maria Dillon has more children are especially vulnerable to wildfire smoke because their lungs are still developing and they play hearts. At Marshall elementary in San Francisco's mission district, the smoky air means recess is cancelled for the rest of the week teacher. Greg ADS says his kindergartners are bouncing off the walls ever been outside. They have all this energy in mistook on them. It's probably tough on him to the wins that fan the campfire north of Sacramento haven't led up and the current weather pattern is pushing smokeout through the Golden Gate. This air is unhealthy doctors recommending filtering respirator masks made for dusty construction work rated n ninety five or better yet. They're all the end ninety five or higher. Yep. That's correct. At hardware store in the north beach neighborhood Tina row Tolo says they've sold thousands of masks since the smoke hit on Friday. We bought as many as a tell us eight hundred seven hundred five hundred time while masks her helpful pulmonologist, Dr John bounds says they may give a false sense of security they work, but they have to be properly fitted. They have to make a good seal around the nose and mouth cut up like a snorkel mask. But they don't fit unsheltered or people with beards smoke is unhealthy because of what's in it particulate matter and carcinogenic compounds. How bad it is for. You has a lot to do with. How close you are to the source and how much you breathe bombs says wildfire smoke is like diesel exhaust and cigarette smoke, and so while fire smoke is basically the same stuff, but it's different sitting right next to a fire. That's a different level of exposure than us being several hundred miles down wind from the campfire while. Fire smoke also contains other stuff, plastics paint metals even pesticides from the homes businesses and vehicles that burned Tony Wechsler director of the air quality research center at UC. Davis says these extended mega fire smoke events have health officials rethinking their advice to the public. We've only had wildfires in California. We've always had we've had various levels of devastation, but in my experience, it hasn't been one after the other for, you know, basically years at a time here this this is this is a whole new game Wexler says this new game of millions of people exposed to heavy smoke over days weeks, and even months has adverse health implications. And he says that's a concrete and immediate effect of climate change for NPR news. I'm Racquel Maria. Dylan in San Francisco.

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