Smoke from western wildfires leads to Virginia health alert

Smoke from western wildfires leads to Virginia health alert

A statewide health alert is in effect for the rest of Wednesday, the result of particle pollution caused by smoke from wildfires in the western U.S. and central Canada. The Virginia Department of Health says anyone with respiratory or heart disease should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion today, as should the elderly and children.

NEWS RELEASE: As of 10:00 am, Wednesday, July 21, 2021, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is issuing a Health Alert through the remainder of the day based on elevated particle pollution concentrations across the Commonwealth. This is due to smoke from wildfires in the western United States and central Canada. Estimated Air Quality Indices (AQI) in many areas in Virginia based upon current particle pollution concentrations are in the Code Orange/Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups range. Active children and adults, and people with cardio and respiratory diseases, such as asthma, should limit strenuous outdoor activities and continue to monitor air quality conditions throughout the day at https://www.deq.virginia.gov/air/monitoring-assessments/air-quality-forecast.

Due to the federal guidelines based on peer-reviewed health studies that determine how air pollutants are averaged and calculated, receiving a health alert does not necessarily mean that the day’s cumulative pollution is considered unhealthy or that a violation of the federal standards has occurred.
Health Information
  • Code Green: Poses little or no health risk.
  • Code Yellow: Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing strenuous outdoor activities.
  • Code Orange: Active children and adults, and people with heart or lung disease (including asthma) should limit or reschedule strenuous outdoor activities.
  • Code Red: Active children and adults should limit or reschedule strenuous outdoor activities. People unusually sensitive to air pollution, especially those with heart or lung disease (including asthma), should avoid strenuous outdoor activities.
  • Code Purple: Active children and adults should avoid prolonged strenuous outdoor activities. People unusually sensitive to air pollution, especially those with heart or lung disease (including asthma), and older adults should avoid all outdoor strenuous activities.
High air pollution levels can impair breathing, cause lung damage, coughing and eye irritation and put extra strain on the heart. Air pollution also can aggravate asthma, bronchitis or emphysema.
More detailed information is available on the DEQ website. If you know someone else who would like to receive these forecasts, please have them sign up to receive the daily forecasts.

The post Smoke from western wildfires leads to Virginia health alert first appeared on News/Talk 960-AM & FM-107.3 WFIR.