Air quality reaches ‘unhealthy’ levels throughout Puget Sound

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Air quality throughout Puget Sound was labeled as “unhealthy” on Thursday, as indicated by the red dots. In the air quality scale, “unhealthy” stands between “unhealthy for sensitive groups” and “very unhealthy.” (Image courtesy WDOE)

The air quality in Snohomish County has been listed as “unhealthy” by the Washington State Department of Ecology. Smoke as a result of several wildfires in Washington and British Columbia is affecting the air quality in the region and it is expected to continue through the week.

The Washington State Department of Ecology states that when the air quality is rated at “unhealthy” many people may experience breathing problems, and those with pre-existing conditions such as asthma may have worsening symptoms.

The Snohomish County Health District strongly urges all residents to limit the time spent outdoors. Everyone should avoid exercising outdoors if at all possible and choose non-strenuous indoor activities.  “With the heat warning also in effect this week it may be difficult for those with breathing conditions to stay indoors with the windows closed” stated Katie Curtis, Emergency Preparedness Supervisor. “The Health District is maintaining a list of cooling centers on our website and we urge residents to check that list if they need a place to cool down and get out of the smoke,” continued Curtis.

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has also issued a summertime air quality burn ban for Snohomish, King, Kitsap, and Pierce counties. You can learn more about the burn ban at http://www.pscleanair.org/Pages/default.aspx.

The following websites provide valuable information on air quality and measures to protect yourself or your family:

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