Wed August 15, 2012

Hazy Summer Days Keep Coloradans Coughing

You may have noticed the smoky skies. Fires burning in the Pacific Northwest have blanketed the Front Range in a smoky haze, keeping some Coloradans inside.

Breathing in smoke isn’t good for anyone, but people with preexisting conditions such as asthma or heart disease, as well as the very young or the elderly are being encouraged to stay indoors according to Christopher Dan, a representative for Colorado’s Air Pollution and Control Division.

Dan says some symptoms shouldn’t be ignored, especially by people with preexisting conditions.

“Watery eyes, some difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, things that you would commonly associate with respiratory ailments. You start feeling those symptoms and you’re in an area where you’re smelling smoke, that’s a good time to take steps to protect yourself,” Dan said.

Dan recommends filtering air coming into a house or car and for even healthy people to keep from doing strenuous activity outside, which would cause them to breathe more deeply than normal and inhale smoke particulates deep in the lungs.

Dan says “regardless of age or health status you don’t want to be breathing smoke for a long period of time, so it’s certainly something that is impacting all of us.”

Information on current air quality and forecasts can be found at the Colorado Department of Health and Environment.