In response to the devastating Marshall Fire in Boulder County on Wednesday in Colorado, along with the potential damaging air quality caused by it, the American Lung Association in Colorado is urging residents throughout the region to take steps to protect their lung health.
Smoke and ash from wildfires can rapidly spread throughout neighborhoods, other counties and even several other states in the west. These natural disasters can cause lung damage and respiratory issues. The general public and vulnerable groups such as chronic lung disease patients, the elderly, children, pregnant women and outside workers, need to exercise caution.
Protecting your lung health after a wildfire is vital. As general recommendations:
Avoid dust and soot: People with lung or heart problems should avoid clean-up activities and areas where dust or soot is present.
Reduce dust and soot: Thoroughly wet dusty and sooty area prior to clean-up. This will help to reduce the amount of particles becoming airborne.
Cover your face: Wear an appropriate mask during clean-up, a HEPA-filtered one or an N-95.
Do not disturb: If exposure to asbestos or other hazardous materials is suspected, do not disturb the area. Dust masks do not protect against asbestos.
For more information about how residents can protect their respiratory health from wildfires, visit: Lung.org/wildfires.
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 education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org. To support the work of the American Lung Association, find a local event at Lung.org/events.