A recent state health study shows that when tiny particle pollution rises in the Fairbanks North Star Borough, a higher number of people are hospitalized. According to ADN.com, the Alaska Department of Health study of 5,178 hospital visits showed a 6 percent increase of a risk for a hospital visit for respiratory problems for people under the age of 65. Also a 6 to 7 percent added risk of a hospital visit for stroke-related issues for people both under and over 65. The report from the study was released on Monday, August 30th. It reviewed Fairbanks Memorial Hospital admissions between 2003 and 2008 and also the emergency room visits from 2008.
The study compared the information with Fairbanks pollution data and discovered that the rate of hospital visits is indeed related to the higher levels of particulates. The particulates typically originate from wood-burning stoves and also outdoor wood-boilers. Summer forest fires can also play a part in the large numbers of particulates in the air.
The study suggests that people should stay alert to the local alerts and what advice is given for people in any health risk to go outside or to be active. These alerts could be quite useful for many people.
The Fairbanks borough has also been ordered by the federal government to improve and clean their current particulate problem. The majority of the particulates happen during the winter, but wildfires can create particulates in the summer months. The particulates occur in the city of Fairbanks, North Pole, Goldstream Valley and Chena Ridge. Cars, home heating oil, waste oil and coal all play a part in creating these particulates.