In early June, in New York, the Statue of Liberty and skyscrapers were wrapped in an orange veil caused by fine particles emitted by the beginning of an unprecedented wildfire season in Canada. Two papers published in Nature on September 20 assess how forest fires cause worrying emissions of ozone in the lower layers of the atmosphere and especially particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter (PM2.5). The latter are particularly monitored, as they can cause respiratory, cardiovascular and mental illness. Apart from forest fires, it is a public health problem.
In 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) halved its PM2.5 target. The maximum level was set at 5 micrograms per cubic meter of air instead of 10. Currently "99% of the world's population breathes air that exceeds the WHO recommendation", recently recalled Isabella Annesi-Maesano...
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