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Air Quality 'Hazardous'; worst we've ever seen

Hazardous Air

TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- Experts with the Benton Clean Air Agency tell Action News the air quality in the Tri--Cities is now considered 'hazardous'.

According to readings from air testing sites located in Kennewick, officials say these are some of the worst readings we have ever seen in the area.

Officials say everyone should stay indoors, avoid strenuous activity, close all windows and doors, switch A/C units to recirculate air and use a HEPA air filter if possible.

Also, people with heart and lung disease should consult a health care professional about leaving the area until the air clears.

According to the Department of Ecology, the smoke will continue to linger until at least Tuesday evening.

Officials say pollutants in smoke can cause burning eyes...runny nose...aggravate heart and lung diseases...and aggravate other serious health problems. Limit outdoor activities and keep children indoors if it is smoky. Please follow medical advice if you have a heart or lung condition.

Here is some advice from Benton Clean Air Agency:

• Stay indoors when possible.

• Limit your physical activity outdoors, such as running, bicycling, physical labor, and sports.

• Close windows in your home, if possible, and keep the indoor air clean. If you have an air conditioner, use the “recirculation” switch. Use an indoor air filter if available.

• If you do not have an air conditioner, consider finding a public place with clean, air-conditioned indoor air like a public library or a community center.

• N95 or N100 rated masks can help protect some people from air pollution. These masks are usually available at hardware and home repair stores. Please check with your doctor to see if this appropriate for you.

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