ALACHUA COUNTY - Due to the fires both in the county and in Georgia, we are experiencing significant smoke and particulate matter in the area. The Health Department, in concert with the Department of Emergency Management, have issued a health advisory until conditions improve.
The effects of smoke run from irritation of the eyes and respiratory tract to more serious disorders, including asthma, bronchitis, reduced lung function, and possibly death. Studies have shown that the fine particulate matter contained in smoke is linked with aggravation of existing respiratory and cardiovascular problems. The extent of the health problems are linked to the level of exposure, age, individual susceptibility, and other potentially associated factors.
Individuals with asthma, cardiovascular disease, the elderly, and children, should restrict their outdoor activities at this time. Children, even those without preexisting conditions, are considered a sensitive population because their lungs are still developing. Of course, those individuals that smoke are susceptible due to decreased lung function.
Citizens are asked to evaluate their health conditions and limit their outside activities until conditions improve.