Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Memphis Air at 'Code Orange'

Posted By on Wed, Oct 14, 2015 at 2:41 PM

click to enlarge SHELBY COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
  • Shelby County Health Department


Air quality in the Memphis region has been set to code orange this afternoon thanks to a mulch fire burning in East Memphis.

The air exceeds the daily National Ambient Air Quality Standard for fine particulate matter. Health agencies say the levels of the particulate matter are “very high,” especially around an air quality monitoring station at Shelby Farms.

The orange alert status makes the air “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” according to a news release. Those groups include active children and adults and people with respiratory and coronary disease like asthma and heart disease. People in these groups should limit prolonged outdoor exertion, according to the alert.

Prolonged exposure to the high levels of the matter in the air can cause irritation to the nose, eyes, throat, and lungs of people in the “sensitive group” category.

The air quality alert status comes from a coalition of government health agencies including the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, the Arkansas Department of Health, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, and the Shelby County Health Department.

The agencies suggest avoiding open burning, carpooling or taking mass transit, combining errands, and driving less.

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