Talon News - Good Local News

AIR QUALITY

 

Regional haze and smoke shown in the from atop the hill behind AHS practice fields on 6.13.18-PHOTO-J.Selph-TALON

The impact of the 416 and Burro fires in the San Juan National Forest is obvious and far reaching. Air quality is just one aspect, but one that affects everyone. The Talon thanks Dr. Bryan Poe for taking time out of his busy schedule to address this important issue for local residents. He recommends staying inside if possible, especially those with pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (C.O.P.D.), or Cystic Fibrosis (C.F.). Those individuals need to use their medications, and oxygen if applicable. Poe continues, "Mostly it's just a little common sense. Close your windows, limit exposure". This includes limiting the use of swamp coolers because they draw unfiltered air indoors versus refrigerated air units that do filter the air. The effects of exposure to the smoke can include irritation of the eyes, ears and/or throat, and headache, or more serious, hypoxia (low oxygen), which can necessitate hospitalization. Poe cautions that while there are times that the air appears to clear, the smoke is still in it and that wearing a mask is not an effective barrier, "The particulate matter is so small (it penetrates the mask material), and there is no seal". Currently San Juan County residents are receiving many precautionary messages regarding air quality via various media sources, however for year-round information about air quality anywhere in the United States check out the airnow.gov website.

 

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