Winter Air Quality
Weather affects our lives in many ways, including the quality of the air we breathe. Light-to-moderate winds can help disburse pollutants. Periods of stable weather, along with cold winter temperatures can lead to a build-up of air pollutants. Of special concern during winter is wood smoke lingering in many neighborhoods. Wood smoke can be reduced by good wood heating practices.
Air pollution affects us all, especially senior citizens, infants, and those with respiratory and heart ailments. Even healthy people can suffer when pollution levels increase. Symptoms may include watery eyes, runny nose, coughing and wheezing. Breathing polluted air is harmful to children and infants whose lungs are still developing.
Fine particles are microscopic in size and result from combustion, such as wood heating and driving. Numerous scientific studies have linked exposure to these tiny particles - approximately 1/30th the size of a human hair - with serious human health problems including premature death in people with heart and lung disease; nonfatal heart attacks; and increases hospital admissions and doctor and emergency room visits for respiratory and cardiovascular disease. More on Spokane's fine particle pollution and trends...
We all have a role in maintaining clean, healthful air quality. Whether at home, at work, or somewhere in between, there are ways to reduce your contribution to air pollution all year long! Click on a category for ideas to reduce air pollution.