Doctors say wildfire smoke from Canada can affect the air quality in the Ozarks

Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 9:42 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Raging wildfires in eastern Canada are creating a hazy sky across a good chunk of the country. You can even see it here in the Ozarks.

Doctors say it’s impacting our air quality. Experts encourage you to check the air quality index and have your inhaler handy in times like these.

“It’s affecting the Midwest as well because of the winds and weather changes,” said Mercy Pulmonologist Sadaf Sohrab. “Studies have shown that because of wildfires, we see an increase in the number of particulate matter in the air, and that is what can be dangerous for us.”

Dr. Sohrab says you should be concerned if the air quality index exceeds 100.

”Those are the days that you avoid going outdoors, try to keep your doors and windows closed, use air conditioning as much as you can during those days,” said Sohrad. “There can be some short-term effects in which you can just have irritation of your respiratory tract if you are exposed.”

She says if you have an air filter, use it and limit outdoor physical activity. Becky Schneider of Ozark says she’s consistently monitoring the air quality.

”I have emphysema and stuff like that makes it hard to breathe,” said Schneider. “If it’s really smoky out, I stay inside.”

To check the air quality in our area, click HERE.

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