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Experts: Burning Man Playa Dust Not Serious Health Concern

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Federal officials long have raised concerns about the air quality at the annual Burning Man celebration in the Nevada desert where festival-goers have become accustomed to getting covered with playa dust.

But the Reno Gazette-Journal reports experts don't believe it poses any significant health risk to those who inhale it during the weeklong gathering 100 miles north of Reno.

Air quality studies have found that air quality at Burning Man often far exceeds national standards.

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But a pulmonary medical specialist at the Northern Nevada Medical Group says short-term exposure to playa dust is unlikely to cause any long-term health effects, even if repeated.

Dr. Aleem Surani says based on what he can extrapolate, there's no significant concern for the average person going to Burning Man.