Bye-Bye Beautiful Skies

Cayen Foye, Editor

While Star Wars fans might be more excited about the sky matching Tatooine, outdoor enthusiasts are not. Air quality was as bad as 162 PM2.5 AQI(Air Quality Index) in Grand Junction- for reference this is a measurement recording the concentration of pollution in the air. Generally speaking a score from 0-50 is good, 50-100 is moderate, 100-150 is unhealthy for sensitive groups, and anything over is considered unhealthy for everyone. Some risks associated with bad air quality are mostly consequential to your lungs, including decreased lung capacity, accelerated aging of lungs, and the development of asthma, bronchitis, and possibly cancer. These mostly apply to long term conditions of bad air quality; residents of Tatooine probably had bad lungs and Anakin might not have been the only person from there who needed a respirator. 

Let’s talk about the culprit for stealing blue skies and mountain views, the fires. Most of the smoke is coming from the usual source: California. Fires along the West Coast like the Dixie Fire have spread into over 198,021 acres of land and smoke has been pushed to surrounding areas, like the grand valley. CNN says that smokey summers might be the new normal for Colorado, giving some flashbacks to last year’s smokey haze at the start of school. If this is the new normal, there’s a few tips to help keep your lungs healthy, like decreasing physical exercise and keeping your windows closed. Air purifiers for your house and car also might be an investment to look into, if you’re really missing the fresh air or dealing with a cough that just won’t quit. It’s definitely not a nice new normal, and hopefully with careful water management and respecting fire mandates can make sure it doesn’t become one. Until then, enjoy some spectacular sunsets and may the Force be with you.