Update: This Air Quality Watch has been extended for one day and will now end on Tuesday night, March 9, 2010.
The Wisconsin DNR has issued an Air Quality Watch for Particle Pollution effective 8:00 AM Sunday, March 07, 2010 through 11:00 PM Tuesday, March 09, 2010 for Adams, Brown, Buffalo, Calumet, Chippewa, Clark, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Dunn, Eau Claire, Fond Du Lac, Grant, Green, Green Lake, Iowa, Jackson, Jefferson, Juneau, Kenosha, Kewaunee, La Crosse, Lafayette, Manitowoc, Marathon, Marquette, Milwaukee, Monroe, Outagamie, Ozaukee, Pepin, Pierce, Portage, Racine, Richland, Rock, Sauk, Shawano, Sheboygan, St. Croix, Taylor, Trempealeau, Vernon, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha, Waupaca, Waushara, Winnebago, and Wood counties . [Daily Air Quality Hotline – 1-866-324-5924 (1-866-DAILY AIR)]
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2010 March 8 & 9: WI 51 Counties: Particle Pollution advisory extended to 11 p.m. Tuesday
The DNR issued the advisory on Monday morning for 41 counties in Wisconsin, basically including the entire southern half of the state, because of elevated levels of fine particle pollution.
All counties in south central Wisconsinare in the advisory area, including Dane, Iowa, Sauk, Lafayette, Green, Rock, Jefferson, Dodge and Columbia counties.
Fine particle pollution is composed of microscopic dust, soot, liquid droplets and smoke particles that are 2.5 microns or smaller, the advisory said. These fine particles come primarily from combustion sources, such as power plants, factories and other industrial sources, vehicle exhaust, and wood burning.
The Air Quality Index is forecast to reach the orange level, which is considered unhealthy for people in sensitive groups, including those with heart or lung disease or asthma, older adults and children.
When an air quality watch is issued, people in those groups are advised to reschedule or cut back on strenuous activities during the watch period.
People with lung diseases such as asthma and bronchitis and heart disease should pay attention to cardiac symptoms like chest pain and shortness of breath or respiratory symptoms like coughing, wheezing and discomfort when taking a breath. People should consult with their physician if they have concerns or are experiencing symptoms, the advisory said.
Fine particle pollution deposits itself deep into the lungs and cannot easily be exhaled. People who are at risk are particularly vulnerable after several days of high particle pollution exposure.