Protect yourself from wildfire smoke
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Protect yourself from wildfire smoke

December 25, 2019

>>Narrator: In California, wildfires and controlled
burns can occur at any time. Other emergencies, like train derailments or refinery fires can also affect air quality with smoke and hazardous chemicals. When these events occur, it’s important
to reduce your exposure to smoke When you are exposed, even for short
periods of time, it can result in irritated eyes, sore
throats, coughing and headaches. The tiniest particles in smoke penetrate deep into the lungs and can trigger asthma attacks or worsen respiratory illnesses. At high enough concentrations, smoke can
even result in increased risk of heart attack. If you or a family member is especially
sensitive to smoke, limit time spent outdoors, avoid physical
activities, and if you have asthma, follow your management plan and always seek immediate medical attention if you experience symptoms that becomes severe. When smoky conditions worsen stay inside, with windows and doors closed and run your air conditioner. Don’t use swamp coolers or whole house fans because they will just bring more smoke into your home. Consider finding a clean air shelter in your community. Malls, libraries, movie theaters and restaurants can also provide a break from smoke. Public officials may close schools or cancel public events when it’s smokey. Parents: be aware that children participating in after-school sports in smokey conditions will have higher exposures and will be
at greater risk for serious health effects If conditions become severe, or you’d like
a higher level of protection, consider using a disposable particulate respirator. These masks can reduce your exposure as long as they seal closely to your face. Use only respirators certified to have a high filtering capacity. These masks have two straps and are labeled with the letters NIOSH and either N95 or P100 Note that a good seal is not
possible for those with facial hair and there are no masks approved for use by small children. Stay informed about air quality in your area by using the air quality index, or AQI. Many TV stations, newspapers, and public service websites broadcast air quality conditions. Some local air districts also offer text messages with local air quality alerts.

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