Here is some information on how to help protect yourself when the air quality is in “unhealthy” range:
When air quality conditions reach “UNHEALTHY” levels, people are recommended to:
-avoid strenuous activity,
-avoid outdoor activities,
-keep windows and doors closed,
-and reduce other sources of air pollution (such as smoking, use of aerosol products, frying or broiling meats, burning candles, vacuuming, etc.) and be prepared for rapidly changing conditions.
If you cannot leave the smoky area, good ways to protect your lungs from wildfire smoke include staying indoors, changing your indoor air filters, using a HEPA air filter, and reducing physical activity.
Wearing an air purifying respirator can also help protect your lungs from wildfire smoke. Air purifying respirators, such as N-95 or P100 filtering face pieces, may be effective in reducing some of the harmful particulate matter, but they also increase the work of breathing, can lead to physiologic stress, and are not recommended as a general protective measure. Dust masks and medical masks are not protective against the ultra fine particulate, which is the pollutant most detrimental to health caused by wildfire smoke.
Diane Gunther, RN
Lakeport Unified School District Nurse