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Air quality in Washtenaw County improves, but depends on weather, wind

Air Quality
Tony Webster

As of right now, the air quality levels are at “good” in Washtenaw County. The rain and clouds from this past weekend may have played a role in that improvement.

Last week, smoke from the Canadian wildfires created unhealthy air quality levels across Michigan and much of the Northeast. This has not only caused health issues for those with respiratory conditions, but even those without them. How long this smoky air hangs around has a lot to do with the weather and how the wind blows.

Meilan Hanis a respiratory health expert at the University of Michigan. She says we have had a lot of dry, sunny weather over the last week in Southeast Michigan.

“That can actually make things even worse because of combustion from factories and cars creates additional gasses that then react with the sun and produces more ozone.”

Han says some of the finer particles found in the wildfire air are being taken up by the blood vessels which can impact our circulatory system. Researchers are currently studying these health impacts.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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