Officials and doctors in New Jersey warn about air quality

CAMDEN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Several counties in New Jersey are under a Code Orange air quality alert for Tuesday, meaning sensitive groups need to be careful, especially in the hot temperatures.

The pool at the North Camden Community Center was packed Tuesday afternoon. It's just one way kids in the city recreation program try to stay cool.

Rec Aide Diona Byrd said, "Sometimes they get too bored inside. We say it's hot. They're like, 'We don't care!' So we just bring water."

But heat isn't the only concern in New Jersey this week. Air quality levels are also monitored. On Tuesday, air quality in parts of New Jersey was unhealthy for sensitive groups, meaning higher levels of ozone or particles are present.

Camden County Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez said, "When it's really hot outside there tends to be an increase of irritants in the air. So they are advised during certain times of the day to go indoors or maintain activity a little lower."

At Cooper University Health in Camden, emergency department doctors say they've been very busy lately with heat-related and respiratory patients.

"Most of what we've seen has been respiratory, patients with underlying lung disease, such as asthma, congestive heart failure. And those that have been outside, exposed to the air quality and the high ambient temperatures," said Dr. Michael Chansky, Chairman of the Emergency Department at Cooper.

Doctors at Cooper say when air quality starts to be unhealthy for sensitive groups like children or the elderly, outdoor activity should be limited. Doctors also recommend exercising inside.
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