Outdoor Workers Risking Health
If you're lucky enough to be in the air conditioning, think about people who spend all day working outside. Landscapers, contractors, utility workers - they spend over eight hours in this smoke! Doctors say that kind of exposure is extremely dangerous. People with the Department of Transportation agree these are unhealthy conditions to be working in. Employees are suffering from eye, throat, and lung irritation.
"A lot of our projects we've shut down because of the fire and smoke," says Gina Busscher from the Department of Transportation.
With the wind constantly changing direction, D.O.T. says it's difficult to predict when exactly the smoke will be at it's heaviest, and when to send workers home. They are however, cutting back hours. And if the smoke gets too thick, they shut the job down entirely. Physicians say they shouldn't be outside at all, let alone eight-plus hours.
"You shouldn't be out unless you have to be out there, and if you have to be out there, then you should limit the time your out there and wear some kind of protective mask," says Dr. Veena Antony, Chief of Pulmonary Medicine.
Dr. Antony says even a completely healthy person who is exposed to smoke particles for too long, will suffer some sort of irritation. She says the number of patients with symptoms of asthma has increased within the last few days, and she believes it's due to the smokey conditions.
By Thalia Hayden, WCJB TV20 News.
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