As we all know, August in the Treasure Valley can be smoky! One of the downfalls of being surrounded by amazing forested land is that forest fires can occur. Our valley makes a perfect little pocket for the smoke from these fires to settle in. When this occurs, it is very important to monitor the daily Air Quality Index (AQI) reports to know if there could be impacts on your health if you are exposed to it too long. This is particularly important if you have lung and sinus conditions. This last week we have seen AQI levels in the orange zone which is unhealthy for sensitive groups and it may continue to be at this level or higher in the upcoming weeks.
Throughout Idaho, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), routinely assesses outdoor (ambient) air quality to satisfy federal regulatory requirements and scientifically determine the quality of Idaho’s airsheds.
The AQI indicates how clean or polluted the air is in a particular area and identifies potential health impacts.
An AQI value of 100 generally corresponds to the national air quality standard for the pollutant, with is the level EPA has set to protect public health.
If AQI is less than 100, it is considered healthful. If it is above 100, air quality is considered to be unhealthy- at first for sensitive groups of people, then for everyone as AQI values get higher. Sensitive groups of people include elderly, very young children and people with respiratory complications or other health conditions.
If you suffer from asthma, you want to be sure to stay indoors if the Air Quality Index is in the orange zone (>100) or worse.
Air is basic to life and because we rely upon air for our existence, it is very important to keep the air clean by reducing or preventing air pollution. It is all our responsibility to what we can to keep the air clean. Therefore, during these times where the air quality if poor already from the forest fires, please be considerate and abide by the burning regulations and reduce your emissions.
Here at The Allergy Group, we keep track of the Daily Air Quality Index and can help you manage you asthma and sinus troubles during these times.
Give us a call if you’re experiencing problems breathing or being outside. We would be happy to get you a quick appointment to see what’s going on.