The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) issued a Health Warning this morning for people with certain health conditions because of smoke in the air from agricultural burning. Yesterday south winds blew smoke from burning in Kansas and impacted Lincoln. This morning, that same smoke is now being pushed back into Lincoln by north winds. Officials hope that levels will decrease as the morning progresses. Levels of smoke in the air at six this morning were still unhealthy for people with asthma, lung disease, other respiratory conditions or heart disease as well as older adults and children. LLCHD advises that these people to avoid the smoke by staying indoors and avoid strenuous physical activity.
"The main impact should be early this morning and air quality should improve through the day," Holmes said. "Smoke is made up of tiny particles and gases. When these are breathed into the lungs, they can cause asthma attacks, worsen chronic bronchitis and emphysema, and cause angina in some people with heart disease." People are advised to keep windows and doors closed and use the "re-circulate" setting when using a vehicle air conditioner. Those who experience difficulty breathing, coughing, tightness in the chest or angina should contact a medical provider.
The LLCHD monitors air quality 24 hours a day, and the Air Quality Index (AQI) at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: air) is updated hourly. The AQI is now in the orange category, meaning the air quality is unhealthy for people with certain health conditions, such as heart disease, asthma or lung disease, and for young children and older adults.
For more information, visit health.lincoln.ne.gov.