Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Impact of 2002 Canadian Forest Fires Felt 700 Miles Away in Baltimore, Maryland

03.12.2004


Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health analyzed how airborne particulate matter from forest fires in the Canadian providence of Quebec traveled more than 700 miles to homes in Baltimore, Md. The study authors found a dramatic increase in outdoor and indoor fine particulate matter – an atmospheric pollutant that is harmful to people with respiratory diseases– in Baltimore during the first weekend of July 2002, which coincided with several forest fires in Quebec. The same fine particulate matter that the authors found to be transported across large distances readily penetrated people’s homes where they spend most of their time. The researchers believe this should be a public health concern because fine particulate matter can penetrate deep into the lungs. The study is published in the current online issue of Environmental Science & Technology.

“This study provides a dramatic example of the significance that global air pollution has, not only on the outdoor air quality in our communities, but on air quality indoors where even the most susceptible among us look for protection,” said Timothy J. Buckley, PhD, MHS, associate professor in the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences and the study’s senior author.

The researchers used satellite images, trajectory models, light detection and ranging measurements to track emissions from the Canadian forest fires to levels of particulate matter in Baltimore. During the peak of the episodes, ambient PM 2.5 levels increased eight-fold from 25 ug/m3 to 199 ug/m3 on July 7, 2002. The Environmental Protection Agency’s National Ambient Air Quality Standard was exceeded on this particular day. Indoor levels closely tracked the outdoor concentrations, indicating that being indoors at home offered little protection from the pollution episode. At the peak of the episode, PM2.5 levels as high as 366 ug/m3 were recorded inside.


The researchers said that their study is a stark example of how air pollution can impact vulnerable individuals in communities hundreds of miles away. In light of the reported findings, the study authors suggest that health advisories that encourage people to stay indoors during high particulate matter events should be reviewed.

“Although the source discussed in this study is natural, similar analogies can be drawn about the long-range transport of pollutants from man-made sources. This underscores the point we have long realized – air pollution is both a local and global issue. In addition to working locally, we need to bring other countries together to tackle the issue of transcontinental transport of air pollution,” said Amir Sapkota, PhD, lead author of the study and a post-doctoral fellow in the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences.

The study was supported by grants from the Environmental Protection Agency and Johns Hopkins Center for Urban Environmental Health.

Amir Sapkota, J. Morel Symons, Lu Wang, Patrick N. Breysse and Timothy J. Buckley, from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, co-authored the study. Additional co-authors were Jan Kleissl, Marc B. Parlange, John Ondov, Gregory B. Diette and Peyton A. Eggleston.

Kenna L. Lowe | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jhsph.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Drones that drive

27.06.2017 | Information Technology

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>