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June 13, 2023
This is Brandi Silver, FCS agent with the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Burke Center. Our program today is about air quality.
Burke County has been under an air quality alert and you may have noticed the haziness on the horizon. Currently, our air quality is listed as fair, meaning the air quality is generally acceptable for most individuals. However, sensitive groups may experience minor to moderate symptoms from long-term exposure.
Wildfire smoke may be carried hundreds or thousands of miles from the fire zone. This means smoke from other parts of the world can impact communities in our area and be a major source of air pollution.
Wildfire smoke is an entangled mixture of gasses, particles and water vapor that contains fine particle pollutants which are undetected by the human eye. These particles can get deep into our lungs and bloodstream and could potentially lead to serious health effects, and can be fatal. Some of the pollutants found in wildfire smoke have no safe level of exposure and even small amounts can impact your health.
If you have to stay inside due to wildfire events, it is important to keep the air inside of your home clean. You can do this by checking your window and door seals as well as learning to use the recirculation setting on your HVAC system. Be sure you are using a high quality air filter and changing it regularly based on the manufacturer’s recommendations.
While we are under an air quality alert, limit outdoor activities and strenuous physical activities as much as possible. If you have difficulty breathing, reduce your activities or stop altogether.
This has been Brandi Silver with the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Burke Center. For more information, contact us 764-9480.