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Pollution levels at unhealthy levels in North Pole, Fairbanks

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Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012 4:33 pm | Updated: 12:09 pm, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

Updated 5:15 p.m. Saturday: The air quality advisory has been canceled.

FAIRBANKS — Cold weather is bringing another bout of unhealthy air to Fairbanks and North Pole.

Particulate pollution in North Pole and Fairbanks is exceeding EPA standards, and the unhealthy conditions are expected to continue over the weekend, according to the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

The cause of the poor air quality are fine particulate pollution and weather conditions that are preventing dispersion, according to the borough. Temperatures could fall to minus 30 degrees tonight, with highs of 10 to 15 degrees below zero on Saturday. Temperatures are expected to moderate somewhat Sunday, but lows will remain far below zero. Some wind is in the forecast, but mainly at higher elevations.

People with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should avoid prolonged exertion, while others should limit exertion.

Air quality may vary by neighborhood. Particulate pollution will be more concentrated in neighborhoods where buildings are heating by wood and coal and in parking lots if cars are idling. Pollution will be less concentrated in the hills.

For more information, visit the air quality page of the Fairbanks North Star Borough website (co.fairbanks.ak.us/airquality).

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