In recent months, Seattle and Portland were literally the dirtiest cities on Earth, a distinction that seems impossible to reconcile with both cities’ respective reputations for green and eco-conscious living. What was responsible for this incredible finding?
Simply put, the cities were suffering from unusually bad air quality because of the recent wildfires and subsequent smoke that have transformed the Northwest’s air quality. Indeed, the air quality after these wildfires led the Portland and Seattle areas to have worse air than the most polluted cities in Asia.
It is a well-known and established medical fact that breathing polluted air long-term has a range of negative health effects, but mesothelioma patients may also be wondering how poor air quality affects patient quality of life also. If you are concerned about the air quality as a Seattle or Portland mesothelioma patient, here are a few helpful points to consider.
Air Quality Is Determined by the Air Quality Index (AQI)
The Air Quality Index is a quick way to determine the cleanliness or pollution of the air in a given area. According to the EPA, the AQI is essentially a measuring stick that runs "from 0 to 500". Air that rates on the lower end of that scale (0) poses little or no risk to members of "sensitive groups", which naturally includes cancer patients. Air quality that rates from 101 to 150 on the index can become unhealthy and pose health risks for members of those sensitive groups, whereas the general public and healthy individuals are less likely to be affected.
However, at the high end of the scale (300 to 500), everyone is likely to be affected by the health quality of what the AQI categorizes "hazardous" air.
Here are the following index values and their corresponding air quality classification:
- Good: 0 to 50
- Moderate: 51 to 100
- Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups: 101 to 150
- Unhealthy: 151 to 200, with sensitive group members possibly experiencing more serious health effects than the general public
- Very Unhealthy: 201 to 300, where serious health effect risks increase for everyone
- Hazardous: 301 and above
It is worth noting that, after the wildfires, Seattle reached an AQI of 150 to 200 for days at a time. While unusual, this is a reminder that mesothelioma patients and members of other sensitive groups may wish to take extra safety precautions when unusual events like these drastically compromise a city’s air quality.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma in Seattle or Portland, you may be entitled to legal compensation if a wrongful exposure to asbestos caused your disease. The Ledger Law Firm is a national law firm with local offices throughout the country, and a Portland mesothelioma lawyer or Seattle mesothelioma lawyer at Ledger Law is ready to discuss your case.
Contact us online for a free case evaluation with a Ledger Law mesothelioma attorney today.