DEC declared an Air Quality Advisory at 4 pm today, Feb 1, 2012, until 8 am tomorrow, Feb 2, 2012. The Borough also declared an advisory. It is good to see they posted the notices online. But why wasn’t it read on radio weather reports or the evening TV news broadcast?
The serious-looking young woman runner headed down Auburn Drive toward Farmer’s Loop at 5 pm didn’t get word. Hourly levels at the time were 78 µg/m3 at the closest monitor. That’s UNHEALTHY. The average for the previous 24 hours was lower, 42 µg/m3, UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS. Farmer’s Loop is another known smoke pit so her actual exposure could have been far higher.
Or maybe she did read it : “DEC advises anyone people (sic) with heart or lung disease, the elderly and children to reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.” And thought she wasn’t at risk.
The advisories were based on the average for the preceding 24 hours. During the actual time of her run, levels measured at the monitor were twice as high. Health precautions based on real-time hourly levels, not from the previous 24-hour time period, give her the best chance to avoid permanent physical damage.