Smoky South Bay air making people sick

first_imgBy Melissa Evans STAFF WRITER The thick, dirty plume of air choking South Bay skies has sent more people to the emergency room for respiratory problems and prompted strenuous warnings from health officials Wednesday. Even healthy people without chronic conditions are at risk for asthmatic episodes, allergies, eye irritation and lung damage because the particles in the air caused by smoke are too small to be filtered by the body, doctors say. Children at most public schools have been kept indoors and restricted from exercise this week. State health officials called a press conference Wednesday to issue warnings to the public that outdoor and indoor physical activity should be restricted until further notice. “Even adults who are healthy ought to take it easy and stay in an air-conditioned location,” said Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board. The South Coast Air Quality Management District, which monitors pollutants in the South Bay and Harbor Area, also issued a warning Wednesday. The closest readings, taken in Long Beach, showed unhealthy levels of contaminants in the air most of the day, said Sam Atwood, a spokesman for the agency. The microscopic particles clogging the air have even reached significant levels inside homes, he said, adding that residents are advised to keep windows shut and use fans or air conditioning. The poor conditions are the result of a “perfect storm” of external pollutants, said Dr. Edward Bold, a pulmonologist from Torrance Memorial. The ash and smoke from the fires are irritating the sinuses, while the hot air from the Santa Ana winds is drying out the lungs. Because of rapidly changing weather patterns, this is typically the time of year when respiratory problems become more prevalent anyway, Bold said. “People need to be sure that they’re taking all of their inhalers with them when they go outside,” he said. Even if the fires are extinguished quickly, the orange sunrise and gray skies may be around for at least another week in the coastal areas because of wind patterns, Atwood said. The Santa Ana winds have blown the smoky air from the fires west, but eventually the ocean breeze will push it back inland. The Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America, based in Los Angeles, was flooded with calls Wednesday, said Francene Lifson, executive director. “We are feeling the effects,” she said. “Watery eyes, coughing, wheezing, headaches, everything.” Several workers there who suffer from asthma and allergies had to call in sick because conditions were so bad, she added. [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“It’s a bad situation out there,” said Dr. Lee Weiss, who oversees emergency medical services at Centinela Freeman Medical Center. Weiss estimates the Inglewood hospital has seen about a 20 percent spike in respiratory-related emergency visits since Sunday, when fires began ravaging Southern California. Doctors at Torrance Memorial Medical Center and Little Company of Mary Hospital in Torrance have also received more calls and visits from patients, particularly the elderly and those with chronic illnesses. The harbor areas of San Pedro, Wilmington, and Long Beach were especially vulnerable because of wind patterns and warm temperatures, which are keeping the polluted air stagnant. “It’s not going to cause cancer or anything,” said Dr. David Campisi, a San Pedro pulmonologist, when asked about the danger. “But it certainly is going to be irritating to anybody.” last_img read more


first_imgAnne-Marie Doherty and some of her ‘bucket heroes’ outside Croke Park collecting to help Paul walk for the first time.GAA fans put aside their rivalry to help a young Co Donegal boy walk for the first time – by raising almost €7,000 in just one afternoon!Young Killygordon boy Paul Doherty needs more than €60,000 to have a private operation in an American clinic.The five year old has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy and dreams of one day getting out of the wheelchair he has used all his young life. Anne Marie Doherty and her son PaulHe has had physio, occupational therapy, speech therapy, conductive education, Botox injections, three weeks at the Peto Institute in Hungary and all sorts of medicines but to no avail.His devoted mum Anne Marie targeted yesterday’s All-Ireland semi-final between Donegal and Dublin and the streets around Croke Park to appeal to the good nature of GAA fans to help with the fund-raising.And they responded magnificently by filling the buckets of collectors with €6,964.81 on Sunday afternoon.Delighted Anne-Marie told Donegal Daily her campaign, ‘Mammy I want To Walk’, is well on its way to making her son’s dream a reality. She said “I cannot believe how decent people have been – both Dublin and Donegal fans.“The Dubs were filling the buckets and laughing that before the game that they wouldn’t se us again because we wouldn’t be back down for the final.“When they heard the money was going directly towards helping a little boy to walk, they were just so generous,” she said.Paul has his operation penciled in for March next in America but his mum will have to pay the cash for the operation in advance.The operation is called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR). And involves cutting some of the nerves in Paul’s spinal cord that are misfiring the muscles in his leg. Paul has been assessed for this operation and has been accepted. The neurosurgeon, Dr. Park, in St. Louis Hospital, Missouri, expects Paul will be able to walk with the aid of crutches/walker if he gets the operation.“This operation has been a successful part of cerebral palsy treatment in the USA for years. The NHS in the UK has just recently decided to trial the operation for 120 children there. By the time the operation is available in Ireland it will be too late for Paul.“We need to raise a minimum of €60,000 for Paul’s dream of walking to be a reality. This would cover the cost of the operation and the first 4-6 months of a two year physio programme which all has to be funded by us privately as there is no HSE funding available for such an intense programme,” added mum Anne-Marie.And the even better news is that Anne-Marie and her ‘Mammy I Want To Walk’ team have been given permission to carry out a collection for Paul on the day of the All-Ireland Final on September 21st. “That will be another big day for us and we’re hoping the Donegal fans and the Kerry supporters will give us what they can again to help Paul walk.“Since people heard of our campaign, they have been offering to hold sorts of little raffles and fundraising nights. It has been amazing.“Lots of people including St Eunan’s National School in Laghey who gave us €20.10 are helping us in all sorts of ways.“I know winning GAA matches is a big deal for many people and it’s great to win those games. But I want all the fans to know that they are all winners in my eyes because what they have done for my little boy,” she said.DONEGAL BOY’S DREAM OF WALKING TAKES A STEP NEARER THANKS TO MAGNIFICENT GAA FANS was last modified: September 1st, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Croke ParkdonegaldublinfansGAAoperationpaul dohertylast_img read more