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Gusty winds prompt health caution

POSTED May 21, 2013 9:46 p.m.

Local air pollution officials are issuing a health cautionary statement effective through Wednesday night, because of blowing dust resulting from gusty winds. The health caution is in effect for San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Tulare, Kings, Fresno, and the valley portion of Kern counties.

Winds may produce areas of localized dust, which can result in unhealthy concentrations of particulate matter 10 microns and smaller. Exposure to particulate pollution can cause serious health problems, aggravate lung disease, trigger asthma attacks and bronchitis, and increase risk of respiratory infections.

Where conditions warrant, people with heart or lung disease should follow their doctors’ advice for dealing with episodes of particulate exposure. Additionally, older adults and children should avoid prolonged exposure or heavy exertion, depending on their local conditions.

Residents can check the nearest air monitor to their location to determine localized conditions. Visit the Real-time Air Advisory Network page on the District’s website to subscribe for free: http://www.valleyair.org/Programs/RAAN/raan_landing.htm.

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