MOODY, Ala. (WIAT) — The EPA is recommending that concerned residents close their doors and windows to help keep out smoke from a landfill fire that’s been burning in St. Clair County for months.

A Friday press release from the United State Environmental Protection Agency said that “some chemicals” were found in air samples taken at and near the Moody landfill, but the agency did not reveal what those chemicals were or whether they may be toxic to local residents.

“We have limited data at this time, but EPA Region 4 is working with the Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry (ATSDR) to gather additional data to appropriately evaluate the potential effects of the smoke from the fire,” the agency said in a release.

“In the meantime,” the agency said, there are a few steps residents can take to mitigate any potential health impacts from the smoke generated by the landfill fire:

  • If you have respiratory problems such as asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), or emphysema, stay indoors when you see or smell smoke.
  • Reduce your outdoor activities, and do them more slowly, when you see or smell smoke.
    Close the doors and windows of your house to keep smoke from getting inside.
  • Talk to your health care provider if you have respiratory conditions such as asthma, COPD, or emphysema, and you think your condition may get worse when you breathe smoke.

The EPA recently took charge of the efforts to quell the fire — which is largely burning underground — after local officials decided, well over a month after the fire first began to burn — that they did not have the technical expertise or capability to deal with the emergency.