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Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff

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What's with This Weather?

Posted: 08/05/11 07:44 PM ET

Tornadoes, fires and floods, oh my! Who knows what's going on with this crazy weather we're having? Some may point to climate change, but here at Healthy Child Healthy World, we stay away from political lightening rods, thank you very much. (Yes, that pun was intended.)

For us, it's all about our kids' health. And this season's extreme weather -- no matter what the cause -- can have some serious consequences.

Recently, thousands of Arizona residents who had evacuated because of the massive Wallow fire returned to their homes, but public health officials warned of continuing hazardous air quality, The Los Angeles Times reported. As of June 13, tiny particles of charred wood -- each about one-twenty-fifth the width of human hair -- still floated in the air. When inhaled, these particles can become lodged deep inside the lungs, proving dangerous, especially for young children.

The New York Times reported in May that the Mississippi River floods, which recently overwhelmed Midwest and Southern states with record levels of surging waters, left behind significant amounts of farm chemicals and waste that could result in the largest dead zone ever in the Gulf of Mexico.

Finally, the Associated Press reported that environmental hazards like groundwater-contaminating liquid fuels and chemicals may be an issue to the residents of Joplin, Mo., who experienced a devastating tornado in May.

What can you do? Find out at at HealthyChild.org!