Columbia Basin's Smokey Air Bad for Lungs - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Columbia Basin's Smokey Air Bad for Lungs

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RICHLAND, Wash.- The layer of smoke over the Columbia Basin is mostly from the Columbia Complex fire, and the National Weather Service says it will be sticking around for awhile.

Experts say heat and a lack of wind could leave the haze over the region for a few days, maybe even longer, and the smoke and it's particulates aren't good for people with breathing problems, especially children.

Doctors say too much exposure can cause airway swelling and mucus, and they're putting out a warning.

"When there is significant smoke in the air, stay indoors, avoid going outdoors and particularly avoid strenuous work on exercise which increases the intake of the particulates and the chemicals," said Dr. Robert Margulies. 

Margulies said too much exposure can have the same effects as second-hand smoke. 

He adds that the smoke, combined with very hot weather can cause extreme dehydration, and you don't need to have a breathing problem to be susceptible to these problems.