Although overall air quality in the U.S. has improved dramatically in recent decades, the fires from wildfires are now creating the most dangerous air pollution in the Western United States, and many people have learned to stay inside, close windows, and reduce their exposure. Operating air purification systems during smoke days, information on how effective these efforts are is limited.
In a new study, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, used data from more than 1,400 indoor sensors and 1,400 indoor sensors on the congested Purple Air network to determine how good the residents of San Francisco and Los Angeles were. To keep the air indoors during the days when the outside air is dangerous.
He asserted that his confession had been obtained through torture and that his confession had been obtained through torture.2.5 About half of their homes during wildfires.
Lead author of the study, Allan Goldstein, said: Professor of Environmental Engineering and Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley. This shows that people are working to protect themselves and are working effectively when they receive information about the smoke coming from the road.
While individuals may take steps to reduce smoke inflows into their homes, the potential for air pollution depends largely on the nature of the building. To study these effects, the researchers used a real estate website, including the features of buildings in the censor network, the relative age of the structure, the type of building, and the socio-economic conditions of the area.
Not surprisingly, newly built homes and central air conditioners are better in terms of smoke detection.
“One of the things that makes this study interesting is that it shows what the government can learn from the data that it has never collected before,” said Joshua Apte, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering and public health. UC Berkeley. “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is about outdoor air quality, not indoor air quality – this is how our air quality regulations are structured.
Protecting the Great Indoor Air
Like many Westerners in the US, both Goldstein and Apte regularly use websites such as AirNow and PurpleAir to determine how air pollution affects their environment. Both have even installed their own PurpleAir sensors to monitor PM content2.5 The little things in their house.
So when a UK-Berkeley graduate student, Yutong Liang, wrote an oral paper using PurpleAir network to study the effects of wildfires on indoor air quality, Goldstein and Apté thought it would be useful to expand the study.
“Our friends and neighbors and co-workers were looking at real-time information from PurpleAir to see if the smoke was affecting their environment and using it to determine how they should behave,” Goldston said. “We want to use the correct information from this network to determine how effective that behavior has been to protect them.”
The analysts compared the indoor and outdoor sensor data collected in August and September 2020, when both San Francisco and Los Angeles experienced several “fire days” and the researchers described the average prime minister’s days.2.5 EPA measured above 35 ug / m3. This value corresponds to about 100 AQI, which represents the boundary between PM2.5 EPA classifies it as “moderate” and “unhealthy for emotional groups.”
Although scientists are still working to find out what chemical compounds are present in this wildfire, an increasing number of studies indicate that this may be worse than other types of PM in human health.2.5 air pollution.
“Wildfires produce thousands of different organic chemicals, such as particles and gases that can cause respiratory and cardiovascular problems in humans,” said Liang. “Goldstein’s research team is trying to figure out how these special compounds, as well as the reaction of wildfires, can change over time.”
To prevent indoor air during a fire, the research team recommends that you close your home before you smoke and invest in an air purifier system. If you can’t afford a commercial air purifier – or all sold out – you can also build your own for less than $ 50 using a box fan, MERV rated furnace filter and some tape.
“There are a lot of very informative Twitter threads on how to build a good DIY system, and if you are willing to go a little crazy – spend $ 90 instead of $ 50 – you can build a better design,” Apte said. “Every air quality researcher I know is very comfortable and easy and fun to play around and work around.”
The location of the filters is also important. If you have only one, put an apte in your bedroom and leave the door closed when you go to bed to keep the air in your bedroom as clean as possible.
Finally, the researchers suggest cooking as little as possible on smoky days. Cooking can surprisingly emit both small amounts and small amounts of gas, both of which cannot easily leave the house without inviting wildfire smoke.
Air filters help remove particles from the cooker, but running a fan in the kitchen or bathroom during a smoke can attract the prime minister.2.5 – Outdoor to indoor air pressure, “Goldstein said.
In the future, researchers hope to find ways to sample indoor air quality for more diverse families. With PurpleAir sensors costing at least $ 200 each, homeowners who contribute to the network will be richer, and estimates suggest that the average price of homes in the network is 20% higher than the average property value in their area.
“One thing we really want to do is understand what happens to the people in the house, because it is a place where people spend most of their time, and there is still something terrible that we do not know about vulnerability,” he said. “I think these new in-house awareness methods will help us fight environmental justice issues and get to know more about who is breathing fresh air in the home.”
Co-authors include Deep Sengupta, Mark J. Campmier and David M. Lunderberg of UC Berkeley.
This work is supported by the AC4 Program (Award NA16OAR4310107) and the California Air Resources Board (Award 19RD008) by the Office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This edition is part of the Center for Climate, Climate and Energy Solutions, supported by US EPA grant R835873. Not officially reviewed by EPA.