Health Advisory Issued Due to Smoke from Wildfire

Health Advisory Issued Due to Smoke from Wildfire

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John Hollenhorst ReportingSmoke from the Cascade Springs fire has been pouring down the canyons and into the valleys of the Wasatch Front. Today the state issued a health advisory, warning people to avoid strenuous outdoor exercise.

You've heard of bad hair days? Well, this is a bad air day. It's the kind that everybody notices because it not only clouds your vision, it stinks like a campfire. It's the old classic temperature inversion in the Salt Lake and Utah Valleys, like enclosed bowls with lids trapping the bad air. But instead of the usual urban smog, this is smoke.

Health Advisory Issued Due to Smoke from Wildfire

Cheryl Heying, Utah Div. of Air Quality: "Like, I have allergies, and I definitely noticed it this morning. My eyes are watering."

Air quality experts say it's not good for people if their lungs have to work hard outdoors.

Cheryl Heying, Utah Div. of Air Quality: "Uh, they should be concerned, especially those with any kind of lung dysfunction or asthma or respiratory diseases. Also the very young and the elderly."

Young lungs are more vulnerable to the smoke particles that can coat the insides of the lung and reduce their function. For older people, a greater issue may be what you can't see--carbon monoxide.

Dr. Loren Greenway, L.D.S. Hospital Pulmonary Medicine: "Carbon monoxide causes a decrease in the blood flow to the heart and into other organs and that really creates some problems for people with cardiac diseases."

People on a regular exercise routine are encouraged to work-out indoors on days like this. But some have no plans to change their routine.

T. J. Smith, Jogger: "I just enjoy running and I think that the benefits of, (cough), excuse me, the benefits of running are better than the benefits of not running."

Dr. Loren Greenway, L.D.S. Hospital Pulmonary Medicine: "We would recommend that if you exercise outside, not to do that right now until the air clears a little bit." q: "Even healthy people?" a: "Even healthy people."

Ironically, several organizations held an event downtown today to promote the health benefits of walking. They went ahead and held a news conference, but they canceled the walk just to be on the safe side. For a person in good health, though, walking should not be a problem.

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