FOX47 NEWS - Air Quality Alert

Jeff Angileri
Sep 24, 2008, 9:44 PM

The air quality watch is almost over after an uncomfortable couple of days.

Seniors and people with asthma generally notice it's harder to breath on days like today.

But, even people without respiratory illness were feeling the effects.

The problem hovered over Madison this week - a dirty, stagnant air mass filled with particle pollution.

Sometimes it seems like the air is a little bit heavier, said UW student William Commer.

In the midst of the haze, hundreds of people jogged, biked, roller bladed, and walked around town. Several people noticed that inhaling and exhaling was a little more difficult than usual.

It just makes you feel lousy, said Ann Pollock, of Madison. Like you can't breathe, and you can't figure out why.

The answer, doctors say, lies within the lungs, and their reaction to pollution.

The particles plus the ozone that can build up actually cause more twitchiness or hyperactivity in the small muscles around the airways, says Dr. Reid Olson, an allergist with Dean Health System.

With cars still putting out exhaust, and people burning leaves, doctors say time exercising is better spent indoors.

People that might walk in the mall, said Dr. Olson. This is a good time to do it. Don't wait until winter.

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