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Wildfires in Canada create breathing hazards for Illinoisans

U.S. Forest Service
Pollution globally has increased over the last 20 years because of wildfires.

Particulate Matter, or particle pollution, in the air can cause a number of serious health problems. It is important to monitor your local air quality closely to see if you may be at risk.


The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency in Springfield Illinois

has issued an Air Quality Action Day until midnight CDT Wednesday


Smoke from wildfires in Canada has moved into the region, pushing

air quality into the unhealthy or worse categories. Air Quality

Index (AQI) forecasts and levels can normally be found at

AirNow.gov, but the unique widespread nature of this episode prompted

this extra NWS alert.

An Air Quality Action Day means that smoke concentrations within the

region will approach or exceed unhealthy standards. Active children

and adults, especially people with pulmonary or respiratory disease

such as asthma, should limit prolonged outdoor activity. Air quality

forecasts and tips on how you can reduce your emissions can be found

at www.airnow.gov.

Maureen Foertsch McKinney is news editor and equity and justice beat reporter for NPR Illinois, where she has been on the staff since 2014 after Illinois Issues magazine’s merger with the station. She joined the magazine’s staff in 1998 as projects editor and became managing editor in 2003. Prior to coming to the University of Illinois Springfield, she was an education reporter and copy editor at three local newspapers, including the suburban Chicago Daily Herald, She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University and a master’s degree in English from UIS.
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