Link to the article
URL of the article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/05/us/running-low-on-oxygen-emergency-workers-in-los-angeles-county-are-told-to-administer-the-minimum-necessary.html
Name of the article: Running low on oxygen, emergency workers in Los Angeles County are told to administer the minimum necessary.
Quality of the article
The news source: The New York Times
The pollutant of concern in the article is ozone. Ozone is a gas that is not as common as other pollutants, but it is still dangerous. It can irritate your lungs and make you cough. For those with asthma or respiratory problems, this can mostly lead to a severe medical issue or even death. In reference to Tompkins et al. (2021), the short-term effects of exposure to the pollutant can include difficulty breathing, nausea, headaches, and eye irritation. The long-term effects are more difficult to predict, but some people may be more at risk than others. Oxygen is a natural pollutant, so it is not necessarily harmful to all people.
Different regulatory agencies govern different pollutants. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) governs air quality by setting strict federal limits. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates safety regulations in all industries (Tompkins et al., 2021). The Federal Water Pollution Control Act establishes goals for water quality control in every state. The OSHA regulations include establishing specific occupational safety and health standards for all industries in the country, conducting workplace inspections, establishing training programs to help prevent work-related injuries and illnesses.
The article presents several ways that emergency workers are being instructed to minimize their exposure to the pollutant. These suggestions are as follows:
– First responders are told not to wear masks during rescue operations
– Rescue workers are advised to “take frequent breaks,” and if they need a mask, they should “wear it for short periods.”
– If mask usage is necessary, it is advised to change filters frequently
– If mask usage is necessary, it is advised to use general-purpose masks with dust filters
– Rescue workers are instructed not to handle any hazardous materials without proper protective equipment.
My interest in this topic is piqued because it addresses the respiratory emergency and how we might receive care when we require it. We are all aware that crises never occur conveniently, but they are even more difficult for individuals who suffer from chronic illnesses or physical limitations. Having no way out of a medical emergency without assistance is a terrifying part of any medical emergency, which is why I am grateful that laws such as Good Samaritan laws are in place to protect people who might be too sick or hurt themselves attempting to escape on their own during an asthma attack at work, school, while on a solo outing, and so on.
This topic is important because I feel like if a situation were to arise where I needed to receive emergency medical attention, the last thing I would want is a team of doctors and nurses standing around all looking at each other, confused as they try to determine what my diagnosis may be. When I have a doctor who knows all the ins and outs about my body, they will be more competent when diagnosing me. They will also know precisely what to do to help me heal quicker because it is their job, after all. The doctor cannot diagnose or fix anything without knowing how my system works from top to bottom, which means that if there are any complications along the way, they will know how best to solve them.
The answer of Oxygen being a natural pollutant, therefore not necessarily harmful to all groups, was the most surprising to me because I realized that clean air had been made very clear to us over the past few years, making it essential to us. Tompkins et al. (2021) stated that the World Health Organization now considers air pollution the most significant environmental risk factor for mortality and morbidity. It is now considered one of the most significant threats to human health globally. The effects of air pollution can be felt in various ways, from asthma to chronic bronchitis to heart disease. I need to precisely understand what is going on with the air quality to take steps to protect myself and those around me.
I believe that the validity of Oxygen being a natural pollutant, and therefore not necessarily harmful to all groups, is supported by the fact that the source for this article is a study in which it was revealed that certain groups of persons could withstand it better. People suffering from respiratory ailments such as asthma, for example, may have less difficulty breathing when exposed to increased quantities of oxygen. This could be because these individuals have higher levels or types of certain substances in their lungs and bloodstreams when compared to healthy persons. It has also been proposed that it is dependent on the way of life of a particular group.
Tompkins, L., Ives, M., & Shaver, J. W. (2021, January 4). Running low on oxygen, emergency workers in Los Angeles County are told to administer the minimum necessary. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/05/us/running-low-on-oxygen-emergency-workers-in-los-angeles-county-are-told-to-administer-the-minimum-necessary.html