Arizona wildfires causing air quality concerns in Maricopa County

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There are several wildfires burning in Arizona and the Valley is feeling the impact of the smoke, causing concerns over air quality.

Naturopathic medical doctor Donese Worden says oftentimes a person wouldn't know if the air they're breathing is affecting them, but clear indicators are a runny nose and eyes, slight cough, pressure in your chest and trouble breathing.

Masks can be a way to protect yourself, he says, adding that the N95 mask that was recommended to use against COVID-19 is also best for filtering out fine particles in the air caused by wildfires.

The Maricopa County Air Quality Department says the fires in Arizona are negatively impacting the air in the county, despite the fires being miles away.

The department is asking residents to do their part and make small changes to prevent more contaminants, including, driving less and switching from gas to electric appliances and cars.

Worden says the particles in the air from the smokey fires can become the biggest threat to our health.

"Those fine particles can penetrate deeply into your lungs and when that happens, it causes a range of health problems," he explained.

If you're healthy, it will be a short-term issue. But, if you have underlying health issues such as heart and/or lung issues, you will need to take additional precautions when heading outside.

There are techniques you can do to help increase lung health, including drinking green tea, exercising, steam inhalation, controlled coughing and leaning over and draining mucus from your lungs.

For more information on the air quality, visit this link.

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