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Saturday 10/14 - OPEN
October 14, 2017
A smoke advisory remains in effect for the 7.4 million residents who live in the nine-county Bay Area. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District advised people to limit outdoor activities and adjust air-conditioning units and car vent systems to recirculate air and prevent outside air from coming inside. In homes without air conditioning, people should keep doors and windows closed, which can reduce pollutant levels by 50 percent.
Real-time data on local air quality can be found by entering your ZIP code at AirNow.gov. The EPA-backed website crunches data from thousands of local air monitors and incorporates weather forecasts to create color-coded maps of ozone and particulate pollution.
Wildfire smoke is a shifting blend of gases and particles, including carbon dioxide, water vapor, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and other organic chemicals, nitrogen oxides and trace minerals. There are thousands of individual compounds, many of them toxic.
But what worries doctors most is the particulate matter in smoke, the tiny bits of feathery ash and dustlike soot, much of it invisible to the eye. They are especially worried about particulate matter less than 10 microns wide, known as PM 10. (By comparison, a human hair is about 60 microns wide). They also dread the subset known as PM 2.5, for particulate matter less than 2.5 microns wide.