Health Department warns of air pollution risks this winter

OLYMPIA -- The state Department of Health is reminding people about air pollution hazards this winter.

Health officials said smoke from wood fires can be a health hazard for people with heart and lung diseases like asthma. Children can also be affected, especially if they spend a lot of time outside. Wood smoke and other air pollutants can get trapped near the ground because of stagnant air during winter months.

The health department also warns against burning wrapping paper because it releases toxins and heavy metals like lead and cadmium into the air.

It’s also a good idea to check the air quality before participating in any outdoor activities. When air quality is poor, people should limit outdoor activities and reschedule them for a time when air quality is better.