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Health Unit warning of risks as smoke covers Leeds, Grenville and Lanark

Staff members at the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit say the haze outside could cause serious health complications for some people. 

The haze is caused by smoke from wildfires in Quebec blowing south to our region, and Communications Coordinator Susan Healey says that smoke can be dangerous even in small concentrations. 

“People with lung disease or heart disease, older adults, pregnant people, infants and young children, and people who work or exercise outdoors are at higher risk of experiencing negative health effects caused by forest fire smoke,” Healey says. 

Healey says you should limit your time outdoors, especially if you have a hard time breathing. She adds you should consider using an N95 or KN95 respiratory mask if you have to go out. 

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If you want to keep smoke from getting into your home, Healey says you should keep your windows sealed, avoid using exhaust fans unless you’re cooking, and make sure you have a high-quality air filter installed in your air conditioner. 

If you want an up-to-date look at the air quality near you, Healey says you can check Ontario’s Air Quality Health Index.  

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