Philadelphia health officials provide update on air quality after junkyard fire

The fire caused a temporary rise in the amount of particulate matter in the area that lasted overnight, officials said.

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Saturday, June 4, 2022
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A day after firefighters battled a massive junkyard fire in the city's Port Richmond section, officials said residents in the area should continue to exercise caution, especially if they have chronic health conditions that could be exacerbated by poor air quality.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A day after firefighters battled a massive junkyard fire in the city's Port Richmond section, officials said residents in the area should continue to exercise caution, especially if they have chronic health conditions that could be exacerbated by poor air quality.

The call came in around 4:30 p.m. Thursday for a fire at Aramingo Avenue and Wheatsheaf Lane.

The view from Chopper 6 showed heavy smoke billowing across the sky.

The fire was brought under control around 5:30 p.m.

No injuries were reported and officials said residents can return to their normal routines.

The fire caused a temporary rise in the amount of particulate matter in the area that persisted overnight, officials said.

They said exposure to fine particles can cause short-term health effects such as eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath. It can also affect lung function and worsen medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease.

People with breathing and heart problems, children and the elderly may be particularly sensitive, officials said.

They said no toxic compounds were identified at levels that would pose a threat to human health.