Monday, August 24, 2015

8/24/2014 Respirator Masks

Respirator masks, labeled N95 or N100 can provide some protection from wildfire smoke. They can commonly be purchased at hardware and home repair stores and pharmacies for about $10-$20 for a box of 20 masks.

In addition, a number of agencies in Washington now have these masks available for free. Washington Emergency Management (WEM) has distributed 5,000 masks to Ferry County Sheriff's Office, and 5,000 to Tri County Health. An additional 20,000 are available from Okanogan County Public Health. Spokane Regional Health is holding an additional 13,000 masks supplied by WEM, but only for dissemination to outlying regions if needed.

Please note that the mask must be type N95 or N100 to be helpful. Also, if you have existing health or breathing issues, you should check with a doctor before using a mask as it can make breathing more difficult.

Further instructions on using a mask are available here:
English: http://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/Pubs/334-353.pdf
Español: http://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/Pubs/334-353-SP.pdf

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