Alabama Department of Public Health official details health impact of wildfire smoke
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Madison and Morgan counties are under an air quality alert until 9:00 p.m. on Friday due to smoke and particles from Canadian wildfires.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and weather reports, it is unlikely that Alabama could see heavy clouds of smoke like some areas of the country.
Dr. Wes Stubblefield, with the Alabama Department of Public Health, said if you travel to cities such as New York, Philadelphia, or Washington, D.C. from Alabama right now, your health could be impacted.
Dr. Stubblefield said there is a high chance you could inhale potentially harmful wildfire smoke. Dr. Stubblefield said this could lead to short-term health problems.
“I would recommend that people who have underlying lung issues things such as asthma or other medical conditions who are planning to travel to heavily affected parts of the United States, consider delaying ‚” Dr. Stubblefield said. “If they can’t delay, make sure that they have all their medications and keep their medications with them.”
Dr. Stubblefield also said a traveler with lung issues should talk to a prescriber or health care provider before the trip.
According to the EPA, if you or your loved ones are near heavy smoke, be prepared to evacuate if instructed by local officials. The organization also recommends wearing a facial covering and limiting your time outdoors.
Dr. Stubblefield encourages you to view the AirNow Interactive Map (epa.gov). It monitors the location of smoke and particles from the Canadian fire. He said changes in weather patterns could also blow the smoke and particles away from our area. Stubblefield said it’s good to be alert.
“We are not as impacted in Alabama, but we want people who are particularly sensitive to these problems to be aware,” Dr. Stubblefield said.
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