Thursday, August 10, 2017

Smoke and Your Health

Protect your health while it's smoky

Breathing in high levels of smoke is bad for your health.

Exposure to wildfire smoke, like all smoke, can cause health problems that include:
  • burning eyes
  • sore throat
  • headache
  • coughing
  • wheezing
  • shortness of breath
  • worsening of heart and lung conditions
The possibility for high levels of smoke to worsen symptoms or trigger health effects for people with heart disease or lung disease is especially a concern because this can be life-threatening. Sensitive groups include:
  • people with chronic heart disease or lung disease
  • people with respiratory infections
  • people with diabetes
  • infants and children
  • pregnant women
  • people over 65
Taking precaution to protect your health from smoke is important for everyone, especially for sensitive groups of people. 

Take steps to reduce smoke exposure.

Stay up-to-date with the air pollution category in your area. Washington Air Quality Advisory table

Air Pollution Categories:

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
Very Unhealthy

Smoke levels can change through the day with wildfires.
  • When smoke levels reach the category “unhealthy for sensitive groups”, sensitive groups of people should avoid time outdoors.
  • When smoke levels are in the “unhealthy”, “very unhealthy” or “hazardous” categories, everyone should limit their time outdoors, avoid outdoor exercise, and keep indoor air clean.
To keep indoor air clean, close windows and doors, but be mindful of the heat. Stay hydrated on these summer days to avoid other health problems. Use fans indoors, and if you have an air conditioner, set it to recirculate. Don’t add to indoor air pollution: avoid candle use, and don’t smoke or vacuum while it’s smoky outside. An air cleaning device with a HEPA filter can improve indoor air quality, but do not use air cleaners that produce ozone
Seek medical attention if you or those you are caring for have serious symptoms.

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