According to a report by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the Denver metro has had more alerts for fine particulate matter in 2020 than any full year in the last decade. This means that Denver’s air quality this year is the worst it’s been in over 10 years, likely due in part to this year’s horrendous wildfire season affecting the West.
Colorado-based meteorologist Chris Tomer shared the news of Denver’s unsavory air quality in a written statement in which he wrote:
“2020 has seen the worst air quality in a decade according to CDPHE. This is for Denver and specifically ranks the smallest particulate matter (2.5mm).”
The Denverite reports that PM 2.5 is what air experts use to describe particulate matter in the air that’s smaller than 2.5 microns, which is the size that’s small enough to enter into people’s lungs and damage them. When an unhealthy air quality “alert” is issued it means that levels of particulate matter get so high that it could be impacting people negatively who are outside, breathing in the air.
The worst part is there are still two months to go in 2020, and Denver’s air quality has already clocked in at the worst it’s been in over a decade.