Updated 9:15 a.m., Tuesday, August 23, 2016
SPOKANE, Wash.-- Smoke from area wildfires continues to impact local air quality and officials from Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) and Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency (Spokane Clean Air) are recommending that residents take the necessary precautions to protect their health.
- Trouble breathing normally
- Stinging eyes
- A scratchy throat
- Runny nose
- Irritated sinuses
- Wheezing and shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- An asthma attack
- Fast heartbeat
- Pay attention to air quality reports. The Air Quality Index (AQI) uses color-coded categories to report when air quality is good, moderate or unhealthy.
- Use common sense. If it looks and smells smoky outside, it is probably not a good time to go for a jog, mow the lawn or allow children to play outdoors.
- Individuals with asthma or other respiratory or lung conditions should follow their provider's directions on taking medicines. They should call their provider if symptoms worsen.
- If a person has heart or lung disease, is an older adult, or has children, they should talk with their provider about whether and when they should leave the area. When smoke is heavy for a prolonged period of time, fine particles can build up indoors even though a person may not see them.
- Some room air cleaners can help reduce particulate levels indoors, as long as they are the right type and size for your home.
"comfort" or "dust masks" are not the answer. The kinds of masks that
people can commonly buy at the hardware store are designed to trap large
particles, such as sawdust. But they generally will not protect lungs
from the fine particles in smoke.
- Respiratory masks labeled N95 or N100 provide some protection - they filter out some fine particles but not hazardous gases in smoke (such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and acrolein.) This type of mask can be found at many hardware and home repair stores and pharmacies.