Are heat waves creating unhealthier air?

Categorized | Air Quality, Science


I don't know about you, but it feels like the days are hotter than I remember as a kid. I live in Orange County, California and this year's weather seemed off. Winter is never that cold, I mean it is Southern California, but it was warmer than I expected, April didn't have the typical showers and June gloom was in July. Plus it feels about 5 degrees warmer these days compared to a few years ago.

So it's getting hotter. Now what?

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One thing is that the more hot days we get, the more smog. If you live in big cities or suburban areas, you know how unpleasant smog can be. It's not pretty to look at and it certainly isn't the best to breathe in. You see, smog is created when sunlight, heat and stagnant air meet with nitrogen oxides and various VOCs, or volatile organic compounds. It sounds more complicated than it is.

Basically the more smog, the harder it is to breathe. It can cause inflammation, irritation, shortness of breath, coughing, I can go on and on. That's just for those of us in basically decent health.

What about those with asthma?

Growing up with childhood asthma made it difficult to play with my friends, being out of breath just for running down the street was uncomfortable. I was lucky to grow out of my asthma. But what about the kids today?

They say that the number of people with asthma has more than doubled in the past 25 years, the rates in children are the soaring leaders. So what are we going to do to stop this trend? Even just a couple small changes can add up to make a big difference in our efforts to stop global warming. Click here for 3 ideas from

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