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Air Quality Alert issued for eastern South Dakota

Wildfires in Manitoba are responsible for the hazy skies and even that smoky smell in some...
Wildfires in Manitoba are responsible for the hazy skies and even that smoky smell in some locations across South Dakota.(Dakota News Now)
Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 4:33 PM CDT
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources issued an air quality alert for areas of eastern South Dakota where smoke from wildfires in Canada has settled.

The smoke is causing low visibility and increased fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution to levels that may be a concern to public health.

The current air pollution levels exceed the National Ambient Air Quality Standard.

Elderly people, young children, and individuals with respiratory problems are the most susceptible. Individuals concerned about potential health impacts should consider avoiding excessive physical exertion, minimize outdoor activities during periods of low visibility caused by wildfire smoke, and keep indoor air clean by closing windows and doors.

Air pollution can aggravate heart and cardiovascular disease as well as lung diseases like asthma and COPD.

When the air quality is unhealthy, people with these conditions may experience symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, or fatigue. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, use your inhalers as directed and contact your health care provider.

DANR maintains air quality data on its website for locations in eastern South Dakota including Aberdeen, Watertown, Brookings, Sioux Falls, Union County and Pierre. Hourly PM2.5 values greater than 35 microgram per cubic meter (ug/m3) are a concern to public health.

Individuals may track the PM2.5 concentrations by visiting DANR’s website at https://denravweb.sd.gov/AirVision/default.aspx or AirNow’s website at https://www.airnow.gov.

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