How much is the wildfire smoke affecting Wyoming's air quality?

ACOM scientist Brett Palm contributed to an article in the Casper Star Tribune regarding the summer wildfires and Wyoming air quality, and he described what makes the smoke dangerous. Wildfire smoke produces two primary air pollutants: ozone and PM2.5. The latter is the main concern, explained Brett Palm, an atmospheric scientist who studies wildfire emissions at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. The moniker indicates particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter.

“These particles are maybe 50 times smaller than red blood cells. Even so, they can get breathed in,” Palm said. “That’s sort of the range that can get deep into your lungs and then absorbed into your bloodstream, and they can cause inflammation and issues in your body that way.”

Read more at the Casper Star Tribune...

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Sunset over the Colorado Front Range on August 5, 2021. Photo by Carl Drews from Niwot, Colorado.




ACOM | Atmospheric Chemistry Observations & Modeling