What’s actually in all that smoke you’re breathing

Many of the microscopic particles sneak into our lungs and impair breathing. Others irritate our skin, throat and eyes. Some chemicals dissipate quickly, while others can linger for months in our atmosphere. Under severe circumstances, the best defense is to stay inside or wear a mask when outside — and even then, experts say, you could be breathing contaminated air.

“Most wildfires and wildland fires put out hundreds of chemicals,” said Rebecca Hornbrook, an atmospheric scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. “It’s a very complex mixture of chemicals that are emitted.”

Read more at the Washington Post; June 8, 2023.

Teaser image
Image at Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wildfire_Smoke_(52959146140).jpg
Teaser summary

Billowing clouds of Canadian wildfire smoke have transformed blue skies into apocalyptic orange scenes across the eastern United States.