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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

feel the burn

Meant to mention hours ago that haze in the sky is the AZ fires. The environment department just issued this advisory:

Environment, Health Departments Issue Smoke Advisory
(Santa Fe, NM) — The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) and the New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) today issued a health advisory for areas of New Mexico affected by smoke from the Arizona wildfires and urge residents to minimize their exposure to smoke.
The Department of Health recommends that sensitive groups, such as the elderly, small children, or any individual with respiratory or heart problems, leave the area where the smoke levels are within the unhealthy range (see table below) until the smoke dissipates or stay inside as much as possible. Citizens are also urged not to use swamp coolers as they will pull the smoke inside.
Air quality conditions associated with smoke are especially important for people with underlying health conditions such as asthma, emphysema, and cardiovascular disease. If symptoms associated with these pre-existing conditions do not respond to your usual recommended medications, see a health care provider immediately.
NMED's Air Quality Bureau operates six continuous particulate matter monitors in the State of New Mexico. These monitors are located in Taos, Santa Fe and Carlsbad as well as three in Dona Ana County. Readings from these monitors indicate that particulate matter suspended in the air is in the 20 micrograms per cubic meter range. While this does not meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s criteria for poor air quality, NMED and DOH do feel that sensitive groups should practice caution until the smoke dissipates. It is also possible that readings could be higher in other areas where monitors are not present. Real-time information for these monitors is available on NMED's website