By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Breathing could be a bit difficult today. Air quality is bad, and that’s unusual for this time of year.

Today’s air quality code is “orange,” meaning that people with respiratory issues such as asthma, emphysema, or bronchitis should stay indoors because they may have trouble breathing.

Amanda Witman, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, says it’s unusual for such bad air quality this time of year.

“We have a very damp day outside, and that moisture combines with the fine particulate matter and becomes trapped near the surface,” she explains. “Now this would  not ordinarily be a problem if there were some light winds or things of that nature.”

Fall is normally breezy, and she says it is those winds that clear out the pollution on most days.

In the meantime, she suggests we refrain from using wood stoves or fireplaces, use public transportation, and carpool.

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