Reality Check | ecoWURD | radio
Temple University’s Christina Rosan and Clean Air Council’s Russell Zerbo joined ecoWURD on Reality Check with Charles Ellison to discuss why Philadelphia should be worried about wildfires … on the other side of the country. West Coast wildfires blazing in states like Oregon, California and elsewhere have been so intense that the massive amounts of smoke have negatively impacted air quality in cities like Philadelphia. Air quality monitor PurpleAir.com found air quality levels in Philadelphia at dangerous and unhealthy levels in recent weeks due to wildfire smog — and that’s on top of Philadelphia already being one of the highest-ranked cities for asthma rates.
“Recent days in Philadelphia represented the most terrifying numbers I’ve seen in a long time,” said Rosan. “It’s the result of winds from these forest fires going across the country. We’re able to see these alarming numbers evolve in real time. If you have asthma, you’re older or immunocompromised, if you see 150 or more on the PurpleAir.com map, it’s not a good day to go outside. Even on a good day, we don’t have the best air quality. So, this is the day to call your congressperson and demand some action now on this.”
“There are about 10 different air pollutants affecting populations in the city, so wildfire smoke clearly doesn’t help,” added Zerbo, who also offered free monitors for Philadelphia residents to position on their homes to track air quality. “I think people do understand the effects of bad air quality. Everyone is aware of this experience. The larger question is: Why?”