Inversion spurs air quality alert for Fairbanks

From The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Thursday, December 2, 2010:

Air pollution spiked to unhealthy levels Wednesday, prompting the borough to urge residents to avoid exercise and to cease wood and coal burning when possible.

The air quality advisory is in effect until 5 p.m. today when weather conditions are expected to change, improving the air.

Tiny yet harmful airborne particles reached a density of 56.4 micrograms per cubic meter of air by Wednesday afternoon, according to the Fairbanks North Star Borough’s air quality index.

Levels above 35.5 micrograms are deemed unacceptable by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The air began deteriorating early this week. On Tuesday, the borough issued an advisory judging the air unhealthy for sensitive groups, namely young children, older people and people with heart and lung afflictions.

The air grew progressively worse on Wednesday, air quality technician Jim McCormick said.