PINEHURST— The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has downgraded the air quality rating in the Silver Valley to “unhealthy.”
This means that everyone may begin to experience health effects and members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.
During this period of heightened poor air quality, the DEQ recommends avoiding strenuous outdoor activities, shortening the time of such activities, or canceling those activities all together.
According to Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) in Cataldo and satellite images of our region, much of the smoke in our area is coming from fires North of the border in Canada, but fires burning in Montana, Washington, and the southern part of our county are adding to the haze as well.
The Silver Valley collects its air quality data from the DEQ air monitoring station in Pinehurst.
Smoky air is considered to be a form of particle pollution and it can be harmful to your health.
Particle pollution has been linked to a number of health problems including coughing, wheezing, reduced lung function, asthma attacks, heart attacks, strokes, and even death.
The DEQ rates air quality using a series of numerical values.
0-50 is good and 51-100 is moderate, but after 100 things get dangerous and there are specific warnings that apply to people with varying sensitivity.
The full chart describing these ratings accompanies this story and can be referenced.
Should air quality not improve in the coming days it could interfere with the beginning of local football teams, soccer teams, and cross country practices.
For more information visit the IDEQ website at www.deq.idaho.gov/air-quality and click on the air quality index to follow the region’s forecasted air quality.