Sunday, September 13, 2020

Beyond hazardous for some artists

Can we all spare a thought for the wellbeing of all those artists who are currently affected either by
  • either the terrible wildfires 
  • or the absolutely horrendous air quality 
  • in Oregon, Washington State and California, USA. 
The maroon areas are where the air quality is currently either Hazardous (300-500) 
or a new category of "Beyond Hazardous" - with readings above 500 on the index scale
(see Eugene and Portland below)

The most polluted cities in the world (13 September 2020)
The most polluted cities in the world (13 September 2020)

This is a shout out to people I know are who all live in areas that are badly affected.  
I've got a number of friends and people I've known online for many years who live in the areas which are affected - and sometimes putting a name to people affected helps raise the profile of the severity of the current situation.

Beyond Hazardous

Oregon is particularly badly affected 
Below are three artists who live in areas which have been producing air quality measurements which are beyond the Index for measuring air quality i.e. "BEYOND HAZARDOUS" areas i.e. 500 is the top end of Hazardous 

Carol Marine (Carol Marine Daily Paintings) lives in Eugene Oregon with her husband David - who created the Daily Paintworks website and their son.  [UPDATE: Despite the fact her blog still saying she lives in Eugene, it's been pointed out that her Facebook Account now says she lives in Missoula, Montana - and I gather this happened relatively recently]
  • The awful irony is that Carol and her husband, David and son all moved to Oregon after being completely burned out in Texas in a matter of minutes 
  • (and as a result now feature on my Insurance for Artists page on my Art Business Info for Artists website - among the examples of artists who have lost everything to natural hazards - and how you can start again if you are insured.) 
  • Eugene Oregon is suffering absolutely horrendous air quality as a result of the Holiday Farm Fire just to the east of Eugene.

Eugene, Oregon is "Beyond Hazardous" i.e. beyond the scale measured by the Air Quality Index
Source: AirNow

The EPA’s Air Quality Index (AQI) measures five types of air pollution on a scale of one to 500. “Healthy” air gets a rating between 0 and 50. Things start getting dangerous in the mid-100s, especially for sensitive groups like those with a heart or lung condition. And an AQI reading of 301 or greater is considered “hazardous,” causing the EPA to declare “emergency conditions” for those who are exposed for 24 hours or more.

On Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, the area around Eugene, Oregon, clocked AQI values well into the 700 range on the real-time air-quality monitoring site PurpleAir, greatly exceeding the scale’s maximum value of 500.

(By way of contrast I live in East London where the air quality currently measures less than 20 on the air quality map).

Janene Walkky lives in Portland, Oregon and  Nicole Caulfield lives just over the river from Portland in Camas, Washington - where Janene is a garden designer and botanical artist and Nicole teaches art to schoolkids and sells her art via a regular stall at the weekend market in Portland. 

For those doubting climate change - and the impact it can have
Nine of the world's 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 2005, and the UN warned this week that the five years from 2016 until this year will very likely be the hottest such period yet recorded. 
Oregon wildfires: Half a million people flee dozens of infernos


VERY Unhealthy in Washington State

More than 600,000 acres have burned in Washington State.

Botanical artists Jean Emmons (Vashon island) and Deborah Montgomerie (Whidbey Island) both live further north on islands near Seattle in Washington State - which is some distance from the fires and yet their area is currently rated as distinctly unhealthy - although ratings are only about a third of some of the areas in Oregon.

Air quality in Washington State from Seattle Times

An extremely smoky Northern California

Artists Jana Bouc and Ed Terpening both live in the San Francisco area where conditions got very much worse on Friday and the air quality ratings became much worse - see San Francisco Bay Area choked by toxic smoke-filled airTwo days later it's currently rated as unhealthy.

I'm hoping everybody is staying indoors - with all air gaps taped up - and that they're double and triple masking if going outdoors.

I know there's a lot more - and I'm thinking of you all.........

You can track air quality for specific areas via 
PS Please don't go out if you can avoid it without reading this article first re the after effects of exposure to toxic air Australian wildfires will claim victims even after they’re out - Harvard scientist suggests long-term exposure to smoke-filled air could lead to premature deaths.

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