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Safety measures and tips for unhealthy air quality index

From Local 3 News: Those Canadian wildfires are causing unhealthy air quality throughout the Tennessee Valley.


The Chattanooga Hamilton County Air Pollution Control Bureau is reporting that the air quality index is at 151 which is not only unhealthy for sensitive groups but for everyone.


Claudia Gillman-Acuña, who is the Air Monitoring Manager for the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Air Pollution Control Bureau said they expect the next four days to produce bad air quality with Thursday and Friday being the worst.


“The wind right now it at about two or three miles-per-hour and so the air isn’t moving, so the hazy is not going to dissipate. Tomorrow, around 11 it’ll pick up to about twelve miles-per-hour and we see that moving away. If we get rain that will be great because it will love the particulate in the air and we should be able to get better numbers,” Gillman-Acuña said.


She said there are steps you can take to reduce your exposure.


From younger children to older adults with heart or lung disease should avoid strenuous outdoor activities, keep outdoor activities short, and consider moving physical activities indoors or rescheduling them.


Everyone else should limit strenuous activities like walking instead of running, so you don’t breathe as hard.


Also, shorten the amount of time you are active outdoors as well.


“We can’t ask you to stop working or anything like that, it’s not that severe, but it might get severe. It depends on the conditions of the weather and the winds and stuff like that. We don’t have control over, but don’t take it lightly and do your research by visiting our website and we will keep you updated,” Gillman-Acuña said.


While we cannot control the wildfire smoke, Gillman-Acuña said there are things people can do in the Tennessee Valley to help the Air Quality Index.


“Carpool if you can, if you don’t have to go out don’t hold your shopping until later in the week. Close you vents in your house, so the air that circulates inside of your house is just cleaner than the air that is coming from outside, Gillman-Acuña said.


She said not to make fire pits, if you are going to mow your lawn, do so in the mornings or evening, and fill your gas tank up after six in the evening.