African American Communities Hit Hard by Plunging Air Quality Levels

Paul L. Hubbard

By Paul Hubbard
Guest Column

There have been many news reports on the air quality we breathe being bad. It’s because of the wildfires in Canada and Grayling Michigan. This smokey bad air quality has a negative effect on many African Americans and especially low-income folks and senior citizens.

Pat Williams, RN, owner of Comfort Care Day Care Services says the health challenges for this population are great. Pat Willams RN says low-income African Americans and especially seniors are at risk because many already suffer from high blood pressure, lung cancer, emphysema, bronchitis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, all which already cause beathing problems.

Williams says part of the problem is that low-income neighborhoods have a lot of cement and black top instead of grass and trees. Grass and trees take the carbon dioxide out of the air and replace it with oxygen. Financial costs that create problems for low-income people and seniors are medications that are needed; air conditioner electric bills to clean the air; extra time for care givers to give treatment; lack of outdoor exercise and extra bottled water to drink.

Air Quality Indexes can be checked on a cell phone app. “AirCare”..50 AQI is good; AQI 101-150 older adults should be careful; AQI 151–200 is likely to have a detrimental effect on everyone; AQI 200 to over 300 is considered hazardous according to “Wired ” online information and a N95 mask is recommended for protection.

Hazardous air warnings and climate change warnings from scientists date back to the 1800s according to USA today. The US Navy met with the US Congress in Feb. 1989 and 2001 to discuss climate change. They discussed how climate change will cause floods, droughts, poor air quality, wildfires and can lead to malnutrition and famine which will create disagreements between political groups.

USA Today says that any politician who denies the reality of climate change and the effect it has on people’s lives is either grossly ignorant of more than a century of science; or is deliberately misleading the public for political reasons.

Paul L. Hubbard MSW, President Comfort Adult Day Care Services. ” A Senior Moment”