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Fire to bring poor air quality over the weekend; doctor recommends limiting outdoor activity

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MURRAY, Utah (ABC4 News) – As summer’s end nears, projected poor air quality due to fire is prompting doctors to warn people, especially those with respiratory issues.

Dr. Denitza Blagev, pulmonologist with Intermountain Medical Center, recommended Friday that people limit outdoor activity, especially sensitive individuals.

Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) said Friday PM 2.5 (particulate matter of 2.5 micrometers or less) could be emitted from the Goose Point Fire burning in Utah County.

“Even if you’re a young, healthy person and you’re not feeling bad on these air days, your risk of developing lung cancer, of dying prematurely, of developing asthma is all increased from living in polluted air,” said Blagev.

“When you breathe in the air pollution those PM 2.5s – those really fine particulates – are the perfect size to get into the lungs and they actually are the perfect size to cross into the blood,” Blagev also said. “Once they are in the blood, they kind of create this inflammation and blood clotting tendency, and that’s associated with systemic effects.”

Blagev also said respiratory masks typically are ineffective for poor air days expected over the weekend and reminded people to check air filters in the home and in vehicles to make the air they breathe safer.

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