LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Hazy skies continue to cast a somber veil over Michigan, as smoke from wildfires in Canada blankets the region, posing a severe threat to air quality and public health.
Sadly for some, staying inside, out of the bad air, is not an available option.
For those with health problems and no place to call home, unhealthy air compounds safety concerns. Meteorologists at the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy have issued air quality alerts for most of Mid-Michigan through Thursday.
In Lansing, the air quality level is ranked as unhealthy, meaning everyone can experience health effects from the haze, and sensitive groups like those with asthma or the elderly can experience serious health effects.
“I have a hard time breathing anyway,” said Wayne Mundy. “Because I have COPD, asthma, I’m diabetic, and my van doesn’t have air conditioning.”
Mundy, a resident of Jackson, said he has been living out of his vehicle, unable to keep the windows up because of the summer heat.
“Just breathing a little abnormal probably because of the air, but I can’t keep my windows up because it gets too hot in there,” Mundy said.
At Holy Cross Services in Lansing, they want to make sure everyone is staying safe, especially the homeless community.
“When people are unhoused they are exposed to a number of health conditions,” said Alexis Dye, with Holy Cross Services.
Asthma, COPD, lung and heart disease are just some of the conditions the smoky conditions will make worse.
“The air and the quality of air that they breathe is really crucial,” Dye said. “So, we hope that they would take some measures to get themselves inside to get some rest from those conditions.”
Holy Cross is offering masks to those who have no choice but to stay outside.
“A mask is truly important to use during this time,” Dye said. “We’re also offering water because staying hydrated is going to be key. “>
The air quality alert remains in effect through Thursday. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services advises everyone to avoid strenuous outdoor activities and keep their trips outdoors short.
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