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4 Easy Steps to Reducing Exposure to Wildfire Smoke

With recent wildfires throughout California and in our San Joaquin Valley communities, the Central California Asthma Collaborative (CCAC), urges central valley residents to avoid rigorous outdoor activity.

Fresno, Calif. – August 9, 2018 – Exposure to smoke and the different sized particles it produces, including visible and ultra-fine particles that cannot be seen with the naked eye, can have dangerous effects on our health. Ash and other large particles irritate the eyes, ears, nose and throat and can also cause skin irritation in people with sensitivity to smoke and bad air quality. Symptoms can include cough, sore throat, itchy eyes and headaches to name a few. Smaller fine and ultra-fine particles can penetrate down into the lungs and into the bloodstream. Symptoms can include chronic cough, asthma attacks, and in rare cases heart attack and stroke, even in otherwise healthy people.

Earlier this week, Fresno Unified and other San Joaquin Valley school districts showed a proactive approach to protecting children from hazardous exposure to wildfire smoke and bad air quality by canceling all outdoor activities. Just like these students, CCAC urges all central valley residents to avoid outdoor exposure while air quality is at hazardous levels. But what can you do to reduce exposure in your home?

Here are four simple steps you can follow to reduce your exposure to dangerous levels of smoke and bad air quality.

  1. Avoid outdoor exposure. This includes exercising outdoors. Limit the amount of time you or your child spend outdoors. If you see or smell smoke, stay indoors.
  2. Check local air quality reports. Check out PurpleAir.com or the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District’s RAAN Alerts for the latest air quality reports in your area.
  3. Keep indoor air clean. Reduce the amount of cooked meals and avoid burning candles or incense. If you have air conditioning, turn it on and shut off the fresh-air intake to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside your home, and check and replace air filters if needed. Check for local cooling centers if it is too hot inside your home.
  4. Consult with your doctor if you are sensitive to bad air quality and/or if you’re experiencing prolonged symptoms.

 

If you have questions, please feel free to contact CCAC at (559) 272-4874 or visit us at centralcalasthma.org. You can also visit us on Facebook at Central California Asthma Collaborative or Twitter and Instagram at CalAsthma.