Thursday, August 25, 2016

Spokane Reservation residents: protect your health from wildfire smoke

 EPA Advises Spokane Indian Reservation and Area Residents to Protect Your Health from Wildfire Smoke

Wildfire smoke can cause eye and throat irritation, coughing, and difficulty breathing. Children, pregnant women, elders and those with heart or lung disease such as asthma are more at risk. Even healthy adults can be affected by smoke.

If you smell or see wildfire smoke:
o Minimize or stop outdoor activities, especially exercise.
o Stay indoors with windows and doors closed.
o Don’t run fans that bring smoky outdoor air inside your home, including swamp coolers, air conditioners, whole-house fans or fresh air ventilation systems.
o Change the standard central air-conditioner filter to a medium or high efficiency filter. If you have a wall or window air conditioner, set it to re-circulate. If you have an indoor room air filter set it up in the room where most family members spend time.

If you don’t have air conditioning, protect yourself and your family from heat exhaustion:
o Use cold compresses and cool showers or baths to stay cool.
o Drink plenty of fluids, unless your doctor has told you to limit the amount of fluid you drink. Don’t wait until you are thirsty. Avoid alcohol or sugary drinks.
o Consider moving to a location with air conditioning or leaving the area.
o Do not exercise or do physical activity and wear light-weight and light-colored clothing.
o Watch for signs of heat exhaustion: fatigue, nausea, headache and vomiting.

If you or a family member is affected by smoke, and symptoms worsen or become severe, seek medical attention and consider going to an emergency shelter or leaving the area until smoke conditions improve.

Suzanne Skadowski
Public Affairs Specialist
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Region 10 Pacific Northwest | Seattle
Desk: 206-553-2160  Cell: 206-900-3309

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