More thoughts on air quality
I went to the meeting on Wednesday. My walk away thoughts are the following.
The idea that the particulates are small enough to pass from the lung into the blood was very enlightening. I walk several miles, in the morning, everyday and on the Orange and Red days I feel a lack of energy while on the Yellow and Green days I am feel great while walking.
The particles are in blood, so is that affecting my energy levels? I think it is very possible. Also, my eyes and throat are affected. I have headaches on the bad days as well.
The idea that UH did a study for 10 years on children was interesting. The exposure to vog is not applicable today because the vog levels are not the same. These particulates are most likely made up of small ash particles; I can’t image ash in my blood stream is good for me or anyone. Short-term exposure versus long-term exposure, time will tell what happens to people but long-term exposure to ash in my circulatory system cannot be good.
The panel also stated we, on Kona side, do not have SO2. But if one looks at the iPhone Air Matters there are SO2 monitors on the west side they show that there is SO2.
I am not sure there are things one can do to limit the exposure to vog. Maybe on the bad days one can go someplace where there is air conditioning and a closed up building like Walmart or have lunch at some place enclosed to get a bit of relief. Bless everyone on the Big Island and Aloha for everyone.
Room for improvement on both sides
Mahalo to the air quality panel who gave of their time — and patience — to explain and mitigate the deep concerns held by many in Kona. I was generally disappointed with their presentations. It appeared some were seeing their presentation information for the first time. However, they were responsive and courteous, especially throughout some of the disruptive shouting by a few who seemed to think airing their bravado and anger for all to hear was what we all needed.
We are culturally a polite island society and shouting and the calling of names seemed inappropriate considering that the panelist came to share information, not arouse the ire of a community already feeling frustrated and powerless. I thought their promise to look into standardizing the color codes and asking residents for feedback on where other monitors could be placed on the Kona side was a proper response.
My suggestions are (1) presenters should be better prepared (rehearse among themselves?) in the material they are sharing, (2) have a Plan B to have enough expanded seating available, and (3) get those hanging outside to keep their voices down so the rest of the audience can hear the question and answer exchanges. As for the disruptors? Perhaps a class in anger management or more aloha training is a good start!