|2||Cedar Mill, Oregon|
|5||Shorewood Hills, Wisconsin|
|7||Scotts Mill, North Carolina|
|8||Cottage Grove, Minnesota|
|9||Ogden, North Carolina|
|10||Wentworth, North Carolina|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 12 US AQI||PM2.5|
|PM2.5|| 3 µg/m³|
PM2.5 concentration in Pollock Pines air currently meets the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Open your windows to bring clean, fresh air indoors|
|Enjoy outdoor activities|
|Wednesday, Oct 20|
Good 6 US AQI
|Thursday, Oct 21|
Good 7 US AQI
|Friday, Oct 22|
Good 12 US AQI
Good 12 US AQI
|Sunday, Oct 24|
Good 7 US AQI
|Monday, Oct 25|
Good 11 US AQI
|Tuesday, Oct 26|
Good 15 US AQI
|Wednesday, Oct 27|
Good 16 US AQI
|Thursday, Oct 28|
Good 24 US AQI
|Friday, Oct 29|
Good 15 US AQI
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Pollock Pines is a city that has been subject to some severe levels of air pollution in more recent times, as well as several months over the course of 2020. Both of these instances of higher air pollution levels have been as a direct result of forest and wildfires taking place, causing vast areas of land throughout the state to be consumed and the resulting smoke and clouds of fine particles and haze causing damage to human health, throughout many cities.
In late August and early September of 2021, Pollock Pines presented with US AQI readings that put it into the dangerous rating bracket for air quality levels. Readings such as 375, 506 and a high of 644 were all recorded over three different days in the latter part of August. These would make Pollock Pines be classified as ‘hazardous’ in regards to its air quality, which requires a US AQI reading of 301 and above to be labeled as such. This is the highest rating of air pollution that can occur, and great amounts of damage to the lungs, skin and other organ systems or exposed mucous membranes can be incurred through exposure, not to mention the environmental damage.
Looking at times past, in particular over 2020, it can also be seen that Pollock Pines had many months that had far more respectable levels of air cleanliness present. As such, Pollock Pines will typically have a cleaner level of air quality, but the advent of fires can cause these levels to spike rapidly, making the need for safety precautions and preventative measures all the more important. The months of August and September of 2021 are periods in which this is still a salient factor.
besides the previously talked about forest fires adding prominently to the highly elevated levels of pollution, there are also a plethora of other sources of air pollution present in Pollock Pines, all of which can aid in raising the ambient pollution levels.
With any amount of anthropogenic or industrial present in a given area takes place, many subsequent pollution sources also come with them. These are due to processes such as the combustion of fuels taking place in the many factories throughout the state and around Pollock Pines, as well as car engines, power plant boilers and other similar industrial processes that rely on combustion.
These all contribute to the overall pollution level, giving off their unique types of chemical pollutants and fine particles into the atmosphere.
As mentioned earlier, vehicles are a particularly large contributor to the steadily rising air pollution levels in Pollock Pines and throughout much of the state of California. A multitude of these vehicles are in use, which includes among them ones such as cars, motorbikes and heavier freight vehicles, used predominantly for the transportation of industrial materials and items, as well as food and other produce. These are vehicles such as trucks and lorries.
A sizeable number of vehicles in particular areas throughout the state of California still utilize diesel fuel as their primary source, and as such can give out significantly more pollutants, most commonly those that come from the combustion of fossil fuels.
Vehicles can also release many tons of microscopic rubber particles, due to the gradual degradation of tire treads over a long period of time, which is inevitable with all vehicle usage. These microscopic rubber particles can enter into the air and can cause a whole host of health issues when breathed.
Furthermore, they can fall on the soil, as well as bodies of water and other areas which can cause ecological and environmental damage, entering into the food chain which brings with it many potential problems for people in the future. As was also touched upon earlier, smoke from fires remains the largest contributor to the more severe elevations in air pollution levels.
The PM2.5 readings that were on record throughout 2020, as well as the US AQI readings currently taking place in mid to late 2021, are indicative that they can cause dangerous periods of air pollution to occur, which carries with them far more health risks, along with damage to the environment. The landscape and natural topography in the state of California also aid in helping to keep the pollution levels high. With several different forest fires currently taking place, along with the ones from years past, (referring in particular to the 2020 forest fires ravaging much of the state in the mid to late portions of the year), California is subject to higher than normal pollution levels, putting its US AQI and PM2.5 readings up to dangerous levels and making it one of the more hazardous areas to live in in the United States, when instances of fires are taking place. Fortunately, these are not year-round occurrences and seasonal, although that does not downplay the severity that they pose when they do start to take place.
Aside from the higher pollution readings seen on record from the last year in Pollock Pines, there are still other times of the year where the air quality sees itself improving significantly. Pollution has a prominent ability to harm all groups within the population, and there are many vulnerable or more at-risk groups of people that react in a much more negative fashion than healthier individuals.
These sensitive or at-risk groups include people who are far more likely to succumb to the many illnesses brought about by excessive inhalation of chemical compounds in the air, as well as the ultrafine particles and other air contaminants adding to their health problems. These can be people such as young children, babies, as well as the elderly.
The elderly can be particularly vulnerable when it comes to health issues stemming from breathing pollution. Respiratory infections or common coughs or colds may develop into more life-threatening diseases, with this chance going up alongside the pollution levels, with other factors such as length of exposure and individual predispositions also being taken into consideration. As such, bouts of extreme pollution caused by fires are such a risk to this demographic. Others that are considered to be vulnerable groups are those who have a poorer level of health, exacerbated by lifestyles such as being sedentary or smoking. Others may include those that have pre-existing health conditions or weakened immune systems. Certain individuals can also exhibit hypersensitive reactions when exposed to the many different air contaminants or fine particulate matter in the atmosphere takes place, causing skin rashes and possibly respiratory distress.
Besides at-risk individuals being the ones that need to take extra care during bouts of heightened pollution levels, it is of importance to note that no groups are safe from pollution exposure, and this includes any levels of pollution. Even small levels of certain pollutants in the air have a chance to cause adverse effects and trigger off certain pre-existing conditions. Regarding health issues and illnesses, the first ones that appear will generally be dry coughs, chest pains and related infections, as well as irritation to the respiratory tract. These will usually cease, or significantly decrease in their severity when pollution exposure is halted or stopped outright. Regarding fine particles once again, when they enter into the bloodstream, they can cause many serious conditions due to their size and the materials they are made out of.
A vast number of these PM2.5 materials (such as the variety mentioned above in the PM2.5 related topic) are directly linked to rising cancer rates, due to many of them having highly carcinogenic properties (with ones such as soot or even silica dust being known carcinogens). This is released in large amounts from fires, along with factories and industrial processes. Car engines can also put these out from the combustion process that takes place within their engines, releasing them into the atmosphere via their exhaust pipes. Because of the larger amount of its release from wildfires, black carbon presents a significant hazard to the health of those living in Pollock Pines during periods when wildfires are taking place.
Referring to skin conditions that are caused or even triggered off by exposure, they are generally ones such psoriasis, acne, atopic dermatitis, as well as rashes such as eczema also presenting themselves during times of higher pollution levels.
Skin cancer may also arise as a result, although this is far less prevalent and may take a combination of factors (such as individual predisposition, excess exposure to sun along with length and severity of pollution exposure, along with what pollutants are coming into contact with an individual’s skin. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD is common amongst people affected by high levels of pollution, particularly if it takes place over a longer period, being common amongst those who smoke or have a career whereby they are exposed to large amounts of fine particles or other harmful. COPD is an umbrella term that usually refers to several different respiratory conditions.
Among them are ones such as bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, as well as emphysema and any condition or ailment that hampers the lung’s ability to take in a full breath of air. In longer-term or more chronic situations, individuals who are exposed to pollution over many months or years may start to see conditions such as ischemic heart disease present themselves, especially so amongst the more vulnerable members of the population. This can also be increased by those who live nearby areas of high traffic or have to commute through heavy traffic and hence breathe in larger amounts of pollution. Certain areas that having housing communities near to industrial sites may also put residents or those nearby at further risk.
Ischemic heart disease takes place when the tissue of the heart fails to receive an adequate supply of oxygen, causing damage to the tissue. Rates of heart attack occurrences also go up alongside the previously mentioned cardiovascular issues, along with the chance of strokes, arrhythmias, nausea and headaches all occurring.
In more extreme cases, death may even occur, and many instances of premature death can be directly linked to higher levels of pollution exposure, with such a phenomenon occurring throughout the world.
Because of this, during times of higher pollution and air contamination, preventative measures should be put into place so that individuals may avoid any possible damage to their health. These precautions include avoiding outdoor activities and exercise, in particular outdoor ones such as jogging, which raises the heart rate, increasing respiration rate, which in turn increases the number of pollutants inhaled into the lungs and spreading them to the rest of the body.
Wearing fine particle filtering masks is also highly recommended, particularly when outdoor activities must be conducted, such as from commutes or other vital necessities. Doors and windows should be closed and sealed to stop the flow of air pollution from outside affecting the indoor air pollution levels, and causing it to rise to any considerable degree.
Air purifiers can also be run, if available, as they are highly effective in reducing the levels of indoor air pollution, preventing excessive build-up which can decrease any adverse health effects that arise as a result of excessive pollution exposure.
Observing the air quality conditions that were recorded throughout 2020, a generalized picture can be formed from these figures. Although there will be differences year after year due to many different factors, patterns typically arise, with certain months of the year being times in which wildfires are more likely to occur, along with other months bringing with them higher instances of other pollution-related events (such as the buildup of ozone on roads, or higher energy consumption and demand being placed on power plants).
Some readings from 2020 that were on the higher end of the pollution spectrum were the months of August through to October, which was seen in nearly all cities throughout California. The most polluted month out of all of these was September with a reading of 47.8 μg/m³, placing it high in the 'unhealthy for sensitive groups' bracket, which requires a PM2.5 reading of 35.5 to 55.4 μg/m³ to be classified as such.
After this month the PM2.5 level fell to 15.5 μg/m³, placing it in the 'moderate' rating bracket, and then falling even further in the following months to considerably safer levels.
The cleanest months on record were fairly sporadic in Pollock Pines. However, the most outright polluted months remained as August through to October. January and February presented with readings of 11.2 μg/m³ each, placing them in the 'good' rating bracket.
All the remaining months of the year aside from the above-mentioned ones fell within the World Health Organization's (WHO's) target goal of 10 μg/m³ or less for the best quality of air. The months with the best air quality readings on record were March through to July, along with November and December, all of which were in the WHO's target goal. Out of these, May and June had readings of 4 μg/m³ and 4.2 μg/m³, making them the cleanest of the year and a time in which the air would be significantly freer from air pollutants and hazardous clouds of fine particles, smog, smoke and haze.