Valley Winds Create Problems

May 22, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Strong winds blowing through the valley are more than just a nuisance, they're a health threat. The winds are kicking up dust, pollen and other pollutants putting many people at risk.Winds are calmer Wednesday night, but the dust whipped up by those gusts is still in the air. The high winds blew dust into Valley communities and made life uncomfortable. "It's really gonna make peoples allergies really bad, and stuff, yeah, I can already feel it in my eyes," said Ann Taylor of Kerman.

There's more than just dust in the air. Air pollution, pollen, mold and more are getting into all of us. "Everything is just pushed into our face and we don't have any choice other than breathing in," said Dr. A.M. Aminian.

Allergy doctor, A.M. Aminian says he's already seeing patients, whose lungs are irritated by the tiny particulates carried by the wind. "If you have asthma makes you worse, even if you don't it makes you breathe harder and have breathing difficulty."

Dr. Aminian urges folks to stay inside, and out of the dust if possible. That's not advice everyone is following. Steve Nazaroff had a driving range to himself, and wasn't bothered by the wind or the dust. "I don't have allergy problems, don't have asthma problems. Never bothered me."

But Dr. Aminian cites a new study which shows particulates in the air are more dangerous than previously believed. The air resources board estimates particulate pollution may be responsible for up to 24,000 deaths a year in California. "They affect the immune system, they affect the respiratory system, and we thought it was just the respiratory system, now we know the heart is affected."

If you can't stay out of the wind and bad air, the doctor recommends you shower and wash your hair as soon as you can so you don't keep breathing in the dust. He also suggests rinsing out your nose, and if you go outside, wear a protective mask.


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