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Air Quality Advisory and tips

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Air Quality Advisory and tips

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September 20, 2012

Air Quality Advisory – Thursday 9/20  8 am Wenatchee “Hazardous” and holding, Leavenworth “Unhealthy” and trending better, Chelan “Very Unhealthy” and trending better, Cashmere “Hazardous” and holding, Entiat “Hazardous” and trending better.  When air quality is in this range everyone is at risk of being affected by it. At this point whether very unhealthy or hazardous you should limit exposure to outside air and do not do anything that would increase your breathing rate, people should avoid any exertion

If you must go outside you should use an N-95 mask not a dust mask or cloth cover. A painters mask p-100 can also be used. The fine particles in this smoke can pass through the cloth or dust mask.  In your vehicle use the recycle mode on your interior air system. 

Smoke is made up of a mixture of gases and fine particles produced when wood and other materials burn. Smoke is made up of visible and invisible parts. It contains tiny particles of soot suspended in air, and toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, that you cannot see. Smoke in the outdoor air can also travel indoors. Smoke’s very small particles are a public health concern because they are harmful to the lung and carry toxic material with them deep into sensitive areas of the lungs. Gases in smoke will differ depending on the type of fire and the material burned. In a wood smoke fire, there are a number of gases such as acrolein, benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and nitrogen oxides.  From the Dept. of Health website http://www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/AirQuality/OutdoorAir/SmokeFromFires.aspx

Increased aggravation of pre-existing heart and lung diseases, and premature mortality among sensitive populations is possible.  You may see increasing adverse respiratory effects in the general population as well. Keep windows closed. Limit time outdoors. If possible, go to an area unaffected by the wildfire smoke.

Do not bring outside air into your home, office or school buildings. At home with all your windows closed, if you are getting headaches, dizziness or nausea or having increased respiratory symptoms consider leaving the area until the smoke clears or going to a clean air location.  The Seattle area remains the most consistently unaffected area for Air Quality.

 

The smoke will be around for at least a few more days, possibly longer. The Health District appeals to all local media to assist in sharing the following messages, and add to any further community messaging needed in the coming days:

If you are having significant problems talk to your health care provider, too. We are aware that many buildings have air handling systems that are doing a good job of handling the smoke. If your home or business is one of those places, spend as much time indoors as possible.

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