LEONARDTOWN, MD (June 7, 2023) – The St. Mary’s County Health Department urges residents to exercise caution in light of local air quality alerts. The Maryland Department of the Environment has issued a Code Red Air Quality Alert for Southern Maryland on Wednesday, June 7, 2023, with predictions of unsafe to moderate air quality conditions for Thursday and Friday of this week. These conditions are attributed to the impact of fires in Quebec, Canada.
The current air quality alerts advise individuals from sensitive groups, including those with heart or lung disease, such as asthma, older adults, children, and pregnant individuals, to avoid engaging in long or intense outdoor activities. It is also recommended that they consider rescheduling or moving their activities indoors. All community members are advised to reduce the duration and intensity of their outdoor activities and take regular breaks. To mitigate exposure to outdoor air pollution, the use of N95 masks is suggested. Additionally, indoor air filtration systems with particle removal capabilities may help address outdoor air pollution that finds its way indoors.
Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer, emphasized the potential exacerbation of symptoms for individuals with certain conditions like allergies and asthma due to poor air quality. She stressed, “We encourage all community members to avoid engaging in strenuous outdoor activities or exercising outdoors during these air quality alert days.”
To access real-time local outdoor air quality data and recommended health measures for protection, residents are advised to visit the Purple Air Sensor map on the St. Mary’s County Health Department Air Quality Dashboard at smchd.org/breathewell. It should be noted that there is a technical issue affecting the upper map, rendering it non-current. For up-to-date air quality information, individuals are directed to view the Purple Air Sensor Live View map in the dashboard’s lower part.
As the air quality alerts persist, residents must stay informed and take necessary precautions to safeguard their health. The St. Mary’s County Health Department will monitor the situation closely and provide updates as needed.