The Philadelphia Health Department is investigating a possible air quality issue in Southwest Philadelphia after an industrial site caught fire on Monday. Officials urged residents to stay inside their homes or wear a mask while outdoors until their investigation is complete.
The department recommended residents take precautions while at home or outside because the fire may have polluted the air near 61st St. and Passyunk Ave. Though the site is located in a largely industrial area, residential homes are nearby where the air quality could possibly be affected.
“The air may be potentially hazardous for sensitive groups, including children, elderly people, people who are pregnant, and those with respiratory diseases or heart conditions,” the department said in a statement Monday. “(We are) warning residents to avoid the area.”
Officials collected samples to assess “specific hazardous substances,” but none have been “identified,” as of Monday. However, officials said they will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates.
In the meantime, officials said residents should “avoid going out as much as possible,” and if they do “avoid excessive activity such as jogging or running and wear a mask.” They also encouraged residents to close their windows and doors, and visit air-conditioned spaces such as libraries, stores, or a mall if their homes are hot. “Residents in the area should take precautions to avoid unnecessary exposure to smoke, (and follow the listed directions) to protect yourself and your family from poor air quality,” officials said.
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