Concentrated dust from sand and gravel on dry, icy roads has created an air quality advisory for Anchorage.
The municipality’s Department of Health and Human Services issued a health advisory due to airborne particulate in the Anchorage and Eagle River areas.
The level of dust in the air is reaching unhealthy levels, the advisory said.
Melting after days of warm weather deposited the sediments onto roads, and now the health department cautioned that, as the air and road surfaces dry, the fine particles in the sediments are being stirred up by traffic and becoming airborne.
“Dusty conditions are expected as long as cold night-time temperatures and dry weather persists,” the city health department wrote in the release. “Concentrations are expected to be highest along major roadways, especially during and following peak traffic hours.”
The department is advising those with heart and lung ailments, such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema, to avoid dusty areas near heavily trafficked areas.
Those with severe lung disease are advised to remain indoors.
The National Weather Service is forecasting cold, dry conditions for the next several days.
Air quality updates can be obtained by calling the Municipal Air Quality Hotline at 343-4899 and at the city’s Air Quality website.