our air Dear Editor:
On Monday and Tuesday (July 19/20) air pollution levels in our valley were bad enough to place sensitive persons (elderly, children, cardiac and lung disease patients) at risk. An Orange Air Quality Alert advised those at risk to reduce outside exposure as much as possible during those times.
We now know that air pollution damages the brain in addition to the heart and lungs. Persons exposed to air pollution were 40% more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease according to a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The offending agent was nitrous oxide (NO2) caused by pollution from motor vehicle exhaust and power plants.
Small particle pollution (PM2.5) has been linked to cognitive decline and the development of dementia. Our area is prone to high levels of PM2.5 from the large volume of automobile and truck traffic and the stagnation of air in the Cumberland Valley due to its geography. For this reason, the Clean Air Board of Central PA (CAB) has placed PM2.5 monitors throughout our region including Carlisle, Camp Hill and Harrisburg — real time results can be seen at the CAB website https://cleanairboard.com. Plans are for additional monitors to be installed at Dickinson College and in Upper Allen Township.
Caring about our air is good for you and your neighbors. Be sure to limit your outdoor activities during air quality action days. For information on what you can do to help reduce air pollution in our valley, visit the CAB website or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain a Zoom link for our next meeting on Aug. 19.