Lead levels in Bay Area air were 15x higher during worst of Camp Fire, report says

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Wednesday, July 14, 2021
Wildfire smoke: How it can impact your health
If you happen to inhale wildfire smoke, you could be breathing in all kinds of dangerous things, according to AccuWeather.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Californians are starting to get a glimpse at the toxic effects of wildfires on their health.

The California Air Resources Board just released a new report studying the long-term effects of the Camp Fire, which burned in Butte County in 2018.

Officials are mainly concerned about the metal particles released in the air. Just here in the By Area, lead levels spiked to 15 times higher than normal during the worst of the Camp Fire.

RELATED: Bay Area gearing up for a smog-filled summer -- and your mask won't protect you

There is also concern about respiratory effects.

Corrie Hendrix, who lives in Butte County, says she easily gets out of breath: "I've been able to get over having attacks. If I get a cold, I go on a nebulizer treatment and some steroids and then I'm good. But since the Camp Fire, it's been an ongoing struggle."

People with existing respiratory issues -- like asthma -- are more susceptible to health problems from wildfires.

VIDEO: Wildfires produced up to half of pollution in US West, according to study

Wildfire smoke accounted for up to half of all health-damaging small particle air pollution in the western U.S. in recent years as warming temperatures fueled more destructive blazes, according to a study.

Read the full report here.