High winds and a lack of rain Thursday are affecting air quality in the Mat-Su.

For the third time this month, Mat-Su Borough staff put out an advisory when particulate levels reached unhealthy levels for sensitive groups.

Borough planner Ted Eischeid said the problem is caused by glacial silt from the Matanuska and Knik river beds being swept away by wind gusts of up to 40 mph.

He advises people to delay outdoor activities until the dust settles or wear a mask if they’re running outside.

“It’s not good for you to breathe. Most of your body’s defenses remove a lot of it. But it gets in your eyes, gets in your teeth and especially for anyone with compromised breathing issues — the young or the elderly, anyone with a lung issue — it’s going to be harder for them,” Eischeid said.

For current air quality conditions, call the borough's air quality hotline at 907-352-3878.

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