Friday, October 7, 2011

Gottlieb Allergist Warns Marathoners that Chicago's Air is Highly Polluted

WHAT:   Chicago’s air is loaded with microparticles of pollution, which, along with a high mold count, likely will cause respiratory problems for Chicago Marathon runners.

Dr. Joseph Leija, an allergist at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital who monitors Chicago’s air quality for the National Allergy Bureau, said, “Black sludge, soot and debris are showing up on my slides every day this week and I know Chicagoans are breathing this polluted air and experiencing respiratory conditions during normal day-to-day activities.

“Those running the marathon on Sunday will not only be battling heat, but also extremely poor breathing conditions,” he said. Dr. Leija advised runners to periodically rinse their nostrils with saline solution to “remove trapped debris and keep membranes and airways clear and moist."

WHO:   Dr. Joseph Leija is solely certified by the National Allergy Bureau to perform the official daily allergy count for the Midwest. He will begin working with the Environmental Protection Agency next month to document Chicago’s air quality.

Dr. Leija is available at Gottlieb today to talk with reporters about the dangerous air quality, show the actual pollutants that Chicagoans are breathing and offer tips and advice to marathoners.

Please call Stasia Thompson at (708) 417-5036 to interview Dr. Leija and his patients.

WHY:   While thousands will be enjoying the delightful fall weather during the marathon, the public should be aware of highly polluted air quality conditions.

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is part of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola University Medical Center’s campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of Chicago’s Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. At the heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is a national Catholic health system with an enduring legacy and a steadfast mission to be a transforming and healing presence within the communities we serve. Trinity is committed to being a people-centered health care system that enables better health, better care and lower costs. Trinity Health has 88 hospitals and hundreds of continuing care facilities, home care agencies and outpatient centers in 21 states and 119,000 employees.