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Rising Heat Raises Air Quality Concerns

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The extreme heat is causing air quality concerns. Experts say it’s like sunburn on your lungs and now they’re giving out that warning.

“My baby hates it actually. She has to be inside all the time because she’s sweating, she’s crying she’s cranky,” said Lilly Bessonba.

Think of how bad sunburn feels. Well now, take that sunburn and imagine it burning your lungs.

That’s how air quality experts describe what some people are going through on the first spare the air day of the year on Wednesday in Sacramento County.

“Children, their lungs are smaller. So they take more breaths per minute, which means they’re breathing in more pollution,”

Here’s the deal with the pollution.

Seventy percent of it comes from cars and trucks when the heat is on and the wind barely blows.

That pollution gets trapped by what is called an inversion layer. This layer is like a lid over Sacramento, locking in the bad stuff.

“Too busy to notice but you can look around. You can see it,” said carpenter Mike Smith. “I smoke cigarettes, so even if it was there I wouldn’t notice.”

Smith, sweating on the job, says he’s simply suffering in the scorching sun.

However, there are the few who prefer getting in even hotter air.

Bikram at Yoga Loka in east Sacramento is surprisingly packed on this triple digit day.

“The skin is the largest organ we have. So when you’re sweating toxins out of your system you’re replacing it with good clean water,” said instructor Michael Mercury.

They escape the pollutants outside by diving into a room where the heat and humidity instantly induce sweat.

“They escape the heat by coming to the heat; and then when you go back, there is no heat,” said Mercury.

Because, when you’re in a room that’s 110 to 115 degrees, stepping outside into 100 degrees feels oddly cool.

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