ANCHORAGE, Alaska — As spring snow melts continue, the dirt that is left behind can make spring a challenging season for some Alaskans. Air quality in Anchorage has been "moderate" for the past few days, posing a moderate health concern for people who may be unusually sensitive to air pollution.
"Patients with respiratory disease such as asthma or lung diseases-- they're much more vulnerable to having symptoms or having triggers of their pulmonary problem," said Dr. Jeff Demain at the Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Center of Alaska.
The city has started sweeping the streets and putting down magnesium chloride brine, which moistens the road to help keep the dust down, according to Steve Morris, the municipality's air quality program manager. The dust is easy to see along major roadways, and levels are typically higher earlier in the day due to the busy morning commute.
"Usually during the afternoon periods the dust levels are down 70 or 80 percent from what they were in the morning," Morris said.
Experts advise people to monitor the air quality, especially if they're prone to health effects.