Santa Fe air quality exceeded the WHO annual limits on almost one-tenth of the days from 2020 to 2021. Due to wildfire smoke from wildfires out west, Santa Fe air quality averaged nearly 3 times the daily recommended limit of dangerous PM2.5 pollutants on its worse day in 2021.
Current Air Quality in Santa Fe
7% Of Days in Santa Fe More Polluted Than WHO Target
Santa Fe’s daily air quality levels exceeded the World Health Organization (WHO) annual limit on 7% of days in 2020-2021. The PM2.5 AQI went remains below the limit on most days in many areas of the city between November and May. However due to wildfire smoke, certain days still experienced high level of air pollution, hitting 113 AQI on its worst day.
Historical Air Quality Readings for Santa Fe
Is Santa Fe Air Quality Improving?
In the last three years, data shows that air quality in Santa Fe is getting worse. From 2019 to 2021, Santa Fe saw a 65% increase in PM2.5 levels. While Santa Fe’s annual level of air pollution remains below the WHO recommended limit, the rapid increase in levels should be a concern.
Why Is the Air Quality Bad Today in Santa Fe?
Weather plays a big role in how the air quality is in Santa Fe each day. The amount of sun can affect how much ozone there is, and wind and rain can affect PM2.5 and particulate air pollution to varying degrees.
Air pollution levels can change quickly, with levels often varying widely throughout the day. Data shows there even appears to be times of the day where air pollution tends to be lower compared to other times.
Below shows how PM2.5 air quality levels around the world tend to vary throughout the day. PM2.5 levels have a tendency to be slightly lower in the afternoon compared to other times of the day. But this is a general trend, Santa Fe PM2.5 AQI levels will not follow this trend every day.
How Wildfires Out West Affect Santa Fe’s Air Pollution Levels
Outside of weather, wildfires are another factor that can significantly affect Santa Fe’s air quality. The worst wildfires typically occur in the months of June to September. Wildfire smoke from California and Oregon can and has travelled all the way to cities as far Santa Fe.
Read More: How Wildfires in California Affect Air Pollution Levels
Below shows how wildfires in September of 2020 affected air quality levels all across the west coast.
Santa Fe Air Pollution: The Negative Health Effects
This analysis of Santa Fe’s air quality is based on PM2.5 pollution. These are particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter that can penetrate deep into the lungs and even enter the bloodstream.
Studies have shown that PM2.5 raises blood pressure, inflammation, and rates of heart attacks and strokes.
WATCH: Why Is PM2.5 So Harmful to Us?
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Protect Your Health in Santa Fe From Air Pollution and Wildfire Smoke
Despite the harms of PM2.5 that is in wildfire smoke and air pollution, placebo-controlled studies of air purifiers have found that removing particulate in the home has positive effects on blood pressure, inflammation, and immune response.
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