Forest fires turn some soil minerals into dangerous carcinogens Forest fires turn some soil minerals into dangerous carcinogens

Forest fires turn some soil minerals into dangerous carcinogens

Forest fires turn some soil minerals into dangerous carcinogens

Stanford University scientists have discovered that wildfires turn minerals in the soil into carcinogenic substances that can be airborne and inhaled by firefighters and those who live in downwind areas.

Nature Communications magazine indicates that trivalent chromium found in soil does not pose a health risk. But at temperatures above 200°C, it oxidizes and turns into hexavalent chromium. It became clear to the researchers that 35 percent of the chromium present in the soil is oxidized by fire and turns into hexavalent.

Scientists reached these results from analyzing soil and ash samples collected about a year after the California wildfires, and it was found that the concentration of the toxic metal ranged from 327 to 13,100 micrograms per kilogram, and it is in the form of small particles that can be easily transported by strong winds.

According to the researchers, more research should be conducted to determine the concentration of hexavalent chromium in forest fire smoke, as well as to study the potential toxicity of other metals, such as manganese and nickel, present in the soil. In addition, the results suggest that people should use protective masks and install air purifiers.

It should be noted that forest fires during the years 2001-2020 that broke out in Brazil, Australia, Canada, the United States, and Russia destroyed approximately 25 million hectares of forests.

The strongest glow on the sun has been observed in recent years

On Thursday, December 14, scientists observed the strongest glow on the sun in the last six years.

The Phobos Center statement indicates: According to the weather report, published on its website, at approximately eight o’clock in the evening on Thursday, Moscow time, scientists observed a strong glow on the sun with an intensity of 2.8. This flare was preceded by two moderate intensity flares - M5.8 and M2.3, which occurred at 10:44 and 16:48, respectively. This is equivalent in intensity to the flare that occurred on the Sun on February 17, 2023, and its intensity was x2.2.

Meteorologists say: “The last time flares of this intensity were observed on the sun was in 2017.”

Scientists warn that such glows are a harbinger of magnetic storms, the first of which is expected to hit the Earth on Saturday.

As is known, some people may, but not necessarily, feel headaches, weakness, high blood pressure, and insomnia during strong magnetic storms. Scientists attribute this to the fact that as a result of the fluctuation of the magnetic field, blood flow in the capillaries slows down and the tissues suffer from oxygen starvation.
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