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Saharan dust affecting health conditions in the Caribbean, authorities alert

Sahara dust

Posted: Thursday, June 29, 2023. 6:36 pm CST.

By Breaking Belize News Staff: Reports of Saharan dust affecting various Caribbean islands have been surfacing, creating concerns, particularly among those suffering from allergies and respiratory issues. As noted by Caribbean Loop News, health authorities and meteorological services across these islands are alerting residents to take the necessary precautions due to this environmental occurrence.

Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Services issued an Air Quality update stating that from Wednesday night until Monday, the air quality in Antigua and Barbuda has dropped to moderate levels. This shift is associated with a surge in Saharan dust leading to an increase in particulate matter 2.5 and 10 in the atmosphere. The resultant dust-filled atmosphere poses an elevated threat of health problems, particularly for unusually sensitive individuals, including asthmatics. The potential health impacts, while likely to be limited, remain a concern.

Not just confined to Antigua and Barbuda, the dust phenomenon is being noticed in other parts of the Caribbean as well. The Montserrat Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA) has reported moderate concentrations of Saharan Dust in the atmosphere across Montserrat. The agency is advising residents who are unusually sensitive to dust particles to be cautious.

The DMCA’s advice is for residents with respiratory issues such as asthma to keep windows and doors closed as much as possible. In addition, the agency has suggested limiting the entry of dust into their system through the use of masks and protective eyewear.

Simultaneously, the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Office has also reported an increase in Saharan dust from mild to moderate concentrations. This change is expected to continue over the weekend.

The collective warnings from these various agencies underline the importance of precautionary measures in maintaining health and well-being amid environmental occurrences such as these. The current Saharan dust situation serves as a reminder of the interconnectedness of our global environment and how changes in one region can have significant impacts on another. 


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