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Light wind, poor air expected for tonight


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POSTED: Thursday, December 31, 2009

State Department of Health officials are warning the public to take precautions against the poor air quality that is expected tonight with the combination of light wind, vog and New Year's Eve fireworks smoke.

The National Weather Service in Honolulu predicted light and variable winds tonight with little rainfall.

“;Winds are expected to remain light through New Year's Eve with sea breezes forming in the afternoon and light land breezes forming at night,”; forecasters said yesterday. “;Smoke ventilation from fireworks is expected to be poor.”;

The department's Clean Air Branch says fireworks smoke can aggravate conditions such as asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Anyone with these lung conditions is advised to:

» Stay indoors and close your windows and doors on New Year's Eve.

» Check air conditioners or purifiers and change filters if necessary.

» Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke.

» Have an adequate supply of prescribed medicines and use them as directed.

» Contact a physician and get clear instructions on what to do if your lung condition suddenly worsens.

» Avoid people who have colds and other lung infections, and wash your hands thoroughly.

» Get plenty of rest and limit physical exertion.

» Drink plenty of fluids to loosen mucus. (Warm beverages work best.)

Health Department officials said they will be monitoring Hawaii's air quality during the New Year's holiday.

Light tradewinds are expected to return briefly on New Year's Day, but be quickly replaced by light and variable winds for the weekend.

For more information, contact the Clean Air Branch at 586-4200, or the American Lung Association of Hawaii at 537-5966, or go to www.ala-hawaii.org