Health Alert Issued for Burning Albuquerque Storage Facility

A large plastics storage facility caught fire Sunday, August 5 sending a toxic, massive plume into the sky. The smoke could be seen across the city of Albuquerque.

On Sunday evening, city and county officials issued a health alert telling residents to limit outdoor activity and stay inside with doors and windows closed. Breathing in the burning plastic is incredibly hazardous.

Currently, there are no fatalities, and the Albuquerque Fire Rescue posted on Twitter and said that "structures, product and vehicles," were burning. The fire started at the United Poly Systems when employees were present, but everyone was able to evacuate unharmed.

Roads are blocked off around the company building, and police and fire officials have ordered that people stay away from the premises. However, Lisa Winter, a spokesperson for the company, said their primary concern is the health and safety of their employees and the local community.

What are the side effects of breathing in burning plastic?

An air quality alert was initiated due to the smoke, especially since burning plastics are hazardous air pollutants.

The fire its at a facility that stores plastics. Please avoid the area. For respiratory health, stay inside, keep windows and doors closed. If needed for comfort, use air conditioners on recycle/recirculation mode.

- Albuquerque Environmental Health Department

Side effects include asthma, rashes, nausea, headaches, heart disease, and lung cancer.

Breathing in this cocktail of toxins can be avoided by staying indoors until the city lifts the air quality alert.

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