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Winds prompt health advisory

POSTED May 27, 2011 8:02 p.m.

The breezes that have been blowing through the area and keeping the temperatures down are also stirring up some health concerns.
The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District has issued a cautionary health advisory for the Memorial Day weekend because of the gusty winds that are blowing up high levels of dust.
Blowing dust can result in unhealthy concentrations of particulate matter 10 microns and smaller, or PM10.
"Residents should be aware of their local conditions, and take their particular health issues into account," said Samir Sheikh, director of the Air District's Strategies and Incentives department, which includes air quality forecasting and analysis.
Exposure to particle pollution can cause health problems, aggravate lung disease, trigger asthma attacks and acute bronchitis, and increase risk of respiratory infections. People with existing respiratory and coronary disease, young children and the elderly are particularly susceptible to the effects of particle pollution.
Valley residents are advised to use caution through Sunday night. People with heart or lung diseases should follow their doctors' advice for dealing with exposure to high levels of particulate matter where warranted.
Daily air quality forecasts by county are available at www.valleyair.org and at 1-800-SMOG INFO (766-4463).
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.

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