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Know the signs of smog to breathe better in summer

Once the weather warms up, most people head outdoors to spend time enjoying the wonders of nature. Even though traveling to the park to play games or trekking to campgrounds to set up tents for the weekend can be fun, if the air quality is poor, these outings can spell trouble. According to the Washington State Department of Health, a combination of hot, humid air, car exhaust and camp fire smoke can raise the levels of air pollution, making it harder for people to breathe.

"We want people to be aware of the risks and know how to protect themselves from health problems related to poor air quality," said Maryanne Guichard, the assistant secretary of environmental public health.

Symptoms of smog or unhealthy levels of population in the air include coughing or wheezing, watery or irritated eyes and runny noses. These conditions can be even worse for people with asthma, making it harder for these individuals to enjoy being outside.

Since more than 18 million Americans are already living with asthma, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it could be smart for these people to take certain precautions to protect their health in summer. Avoiding outdoor activities on high smog days is one way to curb asthma side effects, as is installing a medical-grade air purifier like the IQAir GC MultiGas to breathe clean air at home.