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Louisville’s air quality is low: Here’s some tips to keep yourself safe

 Hazy skies over downtown Louisville
Justin Hicks
/
LPM
Hazy skies over downtown Louisville on June 28, 2023.

Louisville is currently under an air quality alert due to wildfire smoke from Canada. Here’s what you should do to protect yourself from unhealthy air conditions.

Particle pollution from the Canadian wildfire smoke has brought hazy skies to Louisville for the past few weeks. And despite sunny days, The Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District has issued an air quality alert for Jefferson County and the surrounding areas.

The current air quality levels in Louisville are especially harmful to sensitive groups which include children, older adults, those with asthma and other breathing ailments.

Dr. Jennifer Day, APRN at University of Louisville's Urgent Care center said reducing exposure outdoors for sensitive groups is key, especially for small children.

“I know they want to be outside because it’s summer, but it’s best to find an indoor activity for them so their lungs aren’t being exposed to all those pollutants out there,” she said.

And if you’re indoors, Day said it’s important to take care of air quality indoors as well.

“Stay hydrated, take regular breaks, and run your AC. Make sure you’ve changed out your filter. I wouldn’t open the windows because that defeats the purpose,” she said.

Day says if residents can’t reduce their time outdoors, it’s important to check daily air pollution forecasts and pay attention to local weather reports before stepping outside.

Smoke has drifted over much of the northern United States and even Europe as at least 490 fires continue to burn across Canada, with more than 250 considered “out of control.” Cities like Chicago, Indianapolis, Cleveland and Cincinnati also currently have "unhealthy” air quality according to the EPA.

Louisville’s Air Pollution Control says wildfire smoke is expected to clear and air quality is forecast to improve in the next few days.

Divya is LPM's Race & Equity Reporter. Email Divya at dkarthikeyan@lpm.org.