DENVER (KDVR) — With the high winds Tuesday, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued an air quality health advisory for blowing dust for the San Luis Valley and the eastern plains, which includes parts of Weld, Arapahoe, and Adams counties.
“Folks are going to feel it. They are not going to be able to breathe as easily when you do have a large amount of blowing dust in the air,” said Sott Landes with Colorado’s Air Pollution Control Division.
Landes says fine particulates can get kicked up and breathed in, affecting people with respiratory illnesses, including asthma.
“We’re especially concerned with folks who have heart or lung disease, children, older adults. They are the ones who are going to be most susceptible to this blowing dust,” Landes said.
Depending on where you live, these high winds can stir up all kinds of things like construction dust or pollen.
“There is a lot of dry pollen. Although a lot of that pollen probably broke down and degraded over the winter,” said Dr. Anthony Gerber, a pulmonologist at National Jewish Health.
“What we tell people is to treat those pollution-driven events much like they treat any other flare of their lung disease. So, if you have asthma and you get a cold you might have a flare in your asthma, you might need to use your inhaler more, you might need to get on steroids,” Gerber said.
Other advice includes staying indoors.
“Watch your surroundings. If you do see blowing dust in the area just head inside, slow it down a little bit,” Landes said.