Reduced air quality increases health concerns - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Reduced air quality increases health concerns

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- If you had a difficult time breathing on Monday, the region's air quality could be to blame.

Temperatures near the triple digits are creating a lot of smog in the atmosphere. Car exhaust and dust stuck under warm air with no winds has left the area with dirty air.

The region's air quality reached the moderate stage Monday afternoon. That means the air is acceptable for most of us, but there's increased pollution that could affect certain people with breathing problems.

"The hot high pressure is sitting on top of us and whatever pollutants there are being captured near the ground are basically hanging here," explains Robin Priddy of the Benton Clean Air Agency.

Air quality experts say something as simple as a large brush fire could bring air quality down even further.

The good news is the moderate air stage is expected to last for another two or three days and then return to good.

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