By Lisa M. Krieger | [email protected] | Bay Area News Group August 17, 2018 at 12:43 pm The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is issuing an air quality advisory for smoke on Friday through Sunday, August 19. Polluted winds are expected to head our way, blowing smoke from fires in northern California, eastern Washington and British Columbia. That’s in addition to Friday’s “Spare the Air” alert for car-caused smog — the seventh this year. What’s the problem? We asked atmospheric chemist Richard E. Peltier, associate professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, who studies wildfire smoke. What is inside wildfire smoke? It changes. It depends on what things are burning. Broadly, it is a mix of both particulate droplets and gases from burned trees, dried leaves, forest litter and, unfortunately, homes. And these particles and gases interact and change over time, as they travel downwind. Wood smoke is a complicated mixture and there’s no one answer. Why is it dangerous? Generally, it is pretty toxic and can make you sick. There is carbon monoxide, the gas that comes out of the car. There are organic carbon compounds. There is a huge mixture of gases – 5,000 to 10,000 different gases – including… Read full this story
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