Persons with a heightened sensitive response to Saharan dust who are located in San Fernando in Trinidad, and in Tobago are being urged to exercise extreme caution today, as the Air Quality Indices recorded from those monitoring stations are quite high.
The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service (TTMS) is advising there is a thick concentration of Saharan dust present in the atmosphere.
“A decrease in air quality is expected so persons who are sensitive to this change should take the necessary precautions,” the Met Service stated.
The air quality monitoring stations of the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) have recorded an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 104 for San Fernando, and of 133 for Tobago—which is designated SENSITIVE GROUPS. The reading was taken at noon, today.
The EMA’s AQI alert system indicates that for people in San Fernando and Tobago there is increasing likelihood of respiratory symptoms in sensitive groups, including older adults, children, and people with respiratory ailments and allergies. It also notes the real possibility of aggravation of heart or lung disease and premature mortality in people with heart or lung disease.
As such, people with heart or lung disease, older adults, children, and people with respiratory ailments and allergies are being advised to reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.
AQI update courtesy Environmental Management Authority (EMA).
In the past, the Ministry of Health has advised persons who already have lung conditions, like asthma, to stay indoors, when possible, and have their rescue inhaler with them at all times. It is advice which should be heeded by such persons in Tobago and San Fernando, today.
Meanwhile, the monitoring stations at Point Lisas and Port of Spain both are indicating MODERATE air quality indices.
As at noon today, Point Lisas registered an AQI of 73, while the reading at Port of Spain was 89.
At these levels, respiratory symptoms are possible in unusually sensitive individuals. In addition, there could be possible aggravation of heart or lung disease in people with cardiopulmonary disease and older adults. Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion.
According to the Met Service forecast, there is little relief to be had.
“Mainly dull and hazy conditions are expected today, despite the odd shower. Expect a hazy night with a light breeze,” Met Service forecasters predict.
About the Air Quality Index (AQI)
The Air Quality Index is a number used by government agencies to communicate to the public how polluted the air currently is or how polluted it is forecast to become. As the AQI increases, an increasingly large percentage of the population is likely to experience increasingly severe adverse health effects.