The air quality in Kansas today is poor because of the high level of particulate matter in the air.
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If you live in or have visited Kansas during the summer, you may have noticed that the air sometimes looks hazy. This haze is caused by tiny particles called aerosols that are released into the air.
What is Haze?
Haze is a type of air pollution that is made up of tiny particles in the air. These particles can come from many different sources, including factories, power plants, construction sites, and cars. When these particles are released into the air, they can mix with other pollutants and create a haze.
Haze can cause a variety of health problems, including coughing, difficulty breathing, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. It can also aggravate existing conditions such as asthma and heart disease. People with these conditions should be especially careful to avoid exposure to haze.
Haze can also have negative impacts on the environment. It can damage plants and trees by blocking sunlight and preventing them from getting the nutrients they need to grow. Haze can also make it difficult for people to see clearly and enjoy the outdoors.
In most cases, haze is caused by human activity. However, there are natural sources of haze as well. For example, forest fires and volcanic eruptions can release particles into the air that contribute to haze.
If you live in an area that is prone to haze, there are some things you can do to protect yourself and your family. Stay indoors as much as possible when haze levels are high. If you must go outside, wear a mask or other protective gear to keep the tiny particles out of your lungs. You can also check the local news or social media for information about current haze levels in your area so you know when it is safe to go outside.
Causes of Haze
Haze is most commonly caused by air pollution and it can come from a variety of sources. There are two main types of haze: particulate matter haze and sulfur dioxide haze. particulate matter haze is made up of tiny particles that are emitted into the air, while sulfur dioxide haze is made up of sulfur dioxide gas.
Burning of Fossil Fuels
The primary cause of haze in Kansas is the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal and oil. These fuels release tiny particles known as aerosols into the atmosphere. When Consols mix with other air pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide, they form a mixture known as photochemical smog. This smog can cause a range of respiratory problems, including coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and asthma.
When we think of dust, we usually think of the small particles that accumulate on surfaces in our homes.But dust can also refer to larger particles that float through the air. Dust storms are a type of weather event where large amounts of dust are picked up by strong winds and carried through the air. These storms can last for several hours or even days, and they can cover vast areas.
Dust storms can cause a number of problems, including reducing visibility and making it difficult to breathe. They can also damage crops, homes, and other structures. In some cases, dust storms can even be dangerous enough to cause car accidents.
There are a number of things that can cause dust storms, including dry conditions, strong winds, and other weather events. One of the most common causes of dust storms is something called “blowout” conditions. Blowout conditions happen when there is a sudden change in wind direction or speed. This change in the wind can pick up large amounts of dust and send it swirling through the air.
Other causes of dust storms include thunderstorms, wildfires, and even construction activity. In some cases, dust storms can happen naturally as part of the Earth’s normal processes. For example, desert regions often experience what are known as “dust devils” – small whirlwinds that pick up dust from the ground and carry it through the air.
Wildfires burning in the western United States are causing a haze in the skies over parts of the Midwest.
The National Weather Service says the smoke is expected to move eastward and will likely impact states such as Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Illinois on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The agency says people with respiratory problems should stay indoors if possible and avoid strenuous outdoor activity.
Effects of Haze
Haze is a light scattering phenomenon caused by particulate matter in the atmosphere. The main effects of haze are reductions in visibility and air quality. Haze can also cause respiratory problems.
Doctors say the most common respiratory problems caused by the smoke and haze are bronchitis and exacerbation of asthma and COPD. “We definitely are seeing an increase in patients coming in for shortness of breath, chronic cough,” said Dr. Alisha Gomez with Ascension Via Christi.
Dr. Gomez says if you have any respiratory problems, it’s best to stay inside until the air quality clears up. She also says to make sure you have your inhaler with you at all times, and if you don’t have one, now would be a good time to get one.
The National Weather Service (NWS) defines haze as “a atmospheric phenomenon where a large number of very small suspended particles obscure the clarity of the sky.” In other words, when you see haze, you are seeing tiny particles that are floating in the air. These particles can be made up of a variety of materials, including dust, salt, smoke, and pollen.
Haze can have a number of different effects on visibility. The most obvious is that it can make objects appear blurry or distorted. Haze can also reduce the contrast between objects and their backgrounds, making it more difficult to see differences between light and dark colors. In extreme cases, haze can completely obscure visibility.
Haze is caused by a variety of different factors, including pollution from factories, vehicle exhaust, and wildfires. It can also be created naturally by evaporation from bodies of water, such as the Great Lakes. While most haze is not harmful to human health, prolonged exposure to certain types of haze can cause respiratory problems.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, air quality is considered satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk on most days. However, there are a few things that can contribute to lower air quality and make the air hazy.
Particulate matter, also called PM, is a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air. Some examples of PM are dust, pollen, soot, smoke, and liquids. PM10-2.5 refers to particulate matter that is 10 micrometers or less in diameter;PM2.5 refers to particulate matter that is 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter. These particles can be emitted from sources such as construction sites, unpaved roads, agricultural fields, and smokestacks. They can also come from Burning wood or trash , vehicle exhaust When PM10-2.5 and PM2.5 levels are high, the air is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups such as children, older adults, and people with heart or lung conditions .
Ozone is a gas that is found in two places in the atmosphere: the stratosphere (the layer above us) and the troposphere (the layer we breathe in). Ozone in the stratosphere helps protect us from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun; however, ground-level ozone formed when emissions from vehicles and industryreact in sunlight is harmful to our health . When ozone levels are high , it means that air pollution levels are also high This can cause coughing , throat irritation , chest pain , and shortness of breath . People with asthma , bronchitis , emphysema , or other respiratory illnesses may feel more symptoms when ozone levels are high .
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is a colorless gas with a strong smell . It comes from burning fossil fuels like coal and oil . Electric utilities , paper mills , chemical plants , petroleum refineries When SO2 mixes with other chemicals in the atmosphere , it can form tiny particles These particles can irritate your eyes nose throat High levels of SO2 can make it hard to breathe For some people with asthma breathing SO2 can trigger an asthma attack .
In conclusion, the hazy conditions in Kansas today are caused by a combination of factors, including wind direction, temperature, and humidity. The best way to avoid the haze is to stay indoors and away from any areas where the air is not moving.