Department of Health Investigating Possible Air Quality Event in Southwest Philadelphia | Department of Public Health

PHILADELPHIA — In response to a junkyard fire on 61st Street in southwest Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health is warning residents to avoid the area or try to stay indoors. The Health Ministry has sent inspectors to the area to take air samples to assess air quality and the potential for any threats. At this time, no specific hazardous substances have been identified and the Department is taking this action out of an abundance of caution.

Area residents should take precautions to avoid unnecessary smoke exposure. The Department of Health recommends doing the following to protect you and your family from poor air quality:

Avoid going outside as much as possible. If you must go outside, avoid excessive activity, such as jogging or running, and wear a mask, if available. Close all windows and doors to minimize air pollution in your home. Recirculate the air with fans to avoid bringing more air pollution into your home.

The air can be potentially dangerous for sensitive groups, including children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with respiratory or heart conditions.

People with underlying conditions should watch for symptoms, including difficulty breathing, nausea, and dizziness. If these symptoms appear, see a doctor as soon as possible.

The Department of Health and the Office of Emergency Management will continue to monitor air quality and provide updates as they become available. For more information, please visit the Philadelphia Emergency Management Office Twitter account, the Health Department Twitter account, and sign up to receive emergency alerts through ReadyPhiladelphia by texting READYPHILA at 888-777 or visiting


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