Poor air quality is a big threat to public health. According to the Washington Department of Ecology:
“Particle pollution, also called particulate matter (PM), is a mixture of tiny solids or liquid droplets that includes smoke, soot, dirt, and dust floating in the air…. Particle pollution affects the airways and lungs, and can cause problems in other parts of your body. It's especially bad for those with chronic heart and lung disease (like asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema), children, and the elderly. It worsens these diseases, which can lead to hospitalization or even early death.
Children are at high risk because their lungs are still growing and they spend more time at high activity levels. Exercise and physical activity cause people to breathe faster and more deeply, taking more particles into their lungs. Even if you’re healthy, you may experience temporary symptoms, such as irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and respiratory system.”
Be sure to check your local air quality regularly and follow health and safety guidelines.