Understanding the health risks from the smoke and ash of Butte County's Camp Fire

In Paradise, many families are still combing through the wreckage of the 2018 Camp Fire that burned over 150,000 acres. Camille Von Kaenel of the Chico Enterprise-Record in her article "Residents still trying to understand Camp Fire contamination at standing homes" writes,

One hurdle has been getting a good understanding of the extent of possible health risks from the smoke and ash that soaked into the homes that day and the following months. There are no industry-wide recognized standards specifically regarding contamination from urban wildfire smoke and ash in homes. So in the Camp Fire areas, insurance companies and environmental health professionals have taken a sometimes uneven approach, leaving homeowners to compare notes and request the clean-up they want.

Von Kaenel interviewed UC Davis Air Quality Research Center Director Tony Wexler who commented that during this clean-up phase, a big worry should be around the ash that surrounds the homes and it constantly being tracked into the home. Ash can be a toxic substance composed of the cars, plastics and other household chemicals that burned as a result of the wildfire. Director Wexler warns families to take care in not tracking the ash into homes. 

You can read more of Von Kaenel's article online here

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