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Air quality alert

Vice President for Administration Anna Martin sent the following message to the campus community on Aug. 18, 2011 - Ed.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has issued a Code Red Air Quality Alert for our area until 8:00 pm this evening.   Code Red indicates an unhealthy air quality level.  Please review the advisory provided and take precautions as necessary.

Anna B. Martin

 

Air Quality Alert

Posted Date: 8/18/2011

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has issued a Code Red Air Quality Alert across the Peninsula until 8 pm this evening. Smoke from the wildfires in the Great Dismal Swamp is causing a strong odor of smoke, limited visibility and respiratory distress.

Active children and adults, along with people with heart or lung disease, including asthma, should limit outdoor activity if a strong odor of smoke is apparent. 

Here are some guidelines from the Peninsula Health Department to determine what action you should take:

If you can smell smoke with no visibility impairment, air quality levels are probably in the Code Orange range, or Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups. At Code Orange levels, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should reduce prolonged, strenuous outdoor activities. People who are active outdoors also should take it easier to limit their exposure to particle pollution.

If you can smell smoke with minor visibility impairment, air quality levels are probably in the Code Red range, or generally Unhealthy. At Code Red levels, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should avoid prolonged, strenuous outdoor activities; everyone else should reduce prolonged, strenuous outdoor activities.

If you can smell smoke with significant visibility impairment, air quality levels are probably in the Code Purple range, or Very Unhealthy. At Code Purple levels, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should avoid all outdoor strenuous activities; everyone else should avoid prolonged, strenuous outdoor activities.

For more information, visit the DEQ Air Quality Website.