Saharan Dust Cloud Precautions

Health
testing

ATLANTA –The Georgia Department of Public Health is urging people, especially
individuals with chronic lung conditions, to protect themselves from dust from the
Saharan dust cloud as it moves over Georgia. The dust cloud is expected to be around
for the next few days.

The dust can cause eye, nose and throat irritation for anyone who comes in contact with
it, and may cause wheezing in people with allergies or asthma. The best advice is to
limit exposure to the dust and take precautions to protect your health:

• If it appears hazy or dusty outside, limit outdoor activities such as yard work,
exercise, children playing.

• Wear a face mask outside to keep dust particles out of the nose and mouth, and
to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

• Pay attention to local air quality reports and news coverage related to the dust
plume.

• Keep indoor air as clean as possible. Keep windows and doors closed. Run an
air conditioner if you have one, but keep the fresh-air intake closed.

• Follow the advice of your doctor or other health care provider about medicines
and condition management if you have asthma or another lung condition.

• If you experience a medical emergency, call 911.

Strong, warm winds over the Sahara desert typically kick up sand at this time of year
and carry it thousands of miles across the Atlantic Ocean. This year, the dust is more
dense than it’s been in 50-60 years.

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