The wildfire smoke from the 2017 fire season has created unhealthy air quality in much of the western US. But, what exactly does the temporary air pollution mean for your health later in life? The Center for Disease Control says that the smoke can have prolonged effects on your body, even after the haze clears.

According to a report from KVAL in Oregon

"The smoke particulates in the atmosphere irritate the lungs, making breathing more difficult," said Robert Stalbow, Respiratory Therapist at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend. 

"Particles bigger than 10 micrometers can irritate your eyes, nose, and throat but do not usually reach your lungs. Ten micrometers is about seven times thinner than one human hair," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explained.

The CDC recommends that "sensitive groups" like the elderly, pregnant and youth should limit their time spent outdoors. Exposure of the unhealthy air can lead to decreased lung growth in children, adverse birth outcomes, such as low birth weight, and the dreaded lung cancer.

Pray for rain and an end to the 2017 fire season.

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