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Articles on PM2.5

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Wildfire smoke traveling hundreds of miles caused hazy skies all the way to Virginia in 2023. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Wildfire smoke is back – fires burning across Canada are already triggering US air quality alerts in the Midwest and Plains

States could be in for another summer of unhealthy wildfire smoke as ‘zombie fires’ resurface in western Canada and more blazes break out in the dry conditions.
Large industrial facilities like this oil refinery outside Houston are major sources of fine particulate air pollution. AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Heart attacks, cancer, dementia, premature deaths: 4 essential reads on the health effects driving EPA’s new fine particle air pollution standard

On Feb. 7, 2024, the EPA strengthened the federal limit for annual levels of fine particulate air pollution, or PM2.5. Many serious health effects have been linked to PM2.5 exposure.
Thick wildfire smoke blankets the landscape near Water Valley, Alta., in May 2023. Evidence linking wildfire smoke with adverse health effects has been accumulating for years. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Wildfire smoke is an increasing threat to Canadians’ health

The notion that wildfire smoke is ‘natural,’ and therefore less harmful than other types of air pollution, is not supported by the evidence. Wildfire smoke has been linked to adverse health effects.
Bad air pollution and extreme heat each raise health risks, but they’re worse combined. Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Extreme heat and air pollution can be deadly, with the health risk together worse than either alone

The worst effects are during high nighttime temperatures, something happening more often with climate change. Wildfire smoke adds to the risk.
A new EV schoolbus from an all-electric fleet parked beside charging stations at South El Monte High School in California, Aug. 18, 2021. Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Electric school buses are taking students back to school – bringing cleaner air and lower maintenance costs to school districts across the country

They look like conventional school buses, but electric versions are cleaner, quieter and cheaper to maintain. States, utilities and federal agencies are helping school districts make the switch.

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