Lung Association Offers Lung Health Tips During Wildfires
Smoke, ash and poor air quality from wildfires may travel hundreds of miles.
(November 14, 2018) - CHICO, Calif.
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The American Lung Association in California urges all those in areas affected by ongoing wildfires to protect themselves and their families from unhealthy air quality and atmospheric conditions. At particular risk for serious reactions are those with lung disease, youth and the elderly.
All those affected by poor air quality from continued wildfires should:
- Shelter in place with doors, windows and fireplace dampers shut, when possible
- If indoors, try to use air conditioning units with HEPA-type filters or, use the “recirculate air” selection on regular A/C units
- If individuals must be outdoors, do so for only short periods of time
- When outdoors, don’t rely on standard “dust masks” for protection, seek out special N-95 or N-100 masks to filter out fine particles produced by wildfires; those with lung disease should consult their doctor before using such masks
- Take extra precautions for children – their lungs are still developing and are vulnerable
- While inside vehicles, be sure to keep windows and vents closed; air conditioning should only be used in the “recirculated air” mode
- Don’t exercise or do hard work outdoors – this applies especially when in smoky areas or even if you smell smoke in the air
More information about protecting lung health during wildfires may be found at Lung.org/wildfires or via our free Lung Helpline at 800-LUNGUSA (800-586-4872). If family members have trouble breathing, call your physician or emergency services immediately.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.
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