Protecting Yourself During Times of Continuous Poor Air Quality
Incident: Table Mountain Wildfire
Kittitas County Press ReleasePublic HealthFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEKittitas County, WA - 09/21/2012 - Kittitas County is currently experiencing poor air quality conditions that could continue throughout next week. Staying indoors or relocating to a place with better air quality is the best form of protection for everyone in the current air quality conditions.
The air quality level in Ellensburg this morning was in the “very unhealthy” range. During conditions of unhealthy to hazardous air quality, the Kittitas County Public Health Department encourages everyone living in Kittitas County (and neighboring areas affected by smoke) to:
- Limit outdoor activity, staying indoors if possible,
- Avoid outdoor physical activity,
- Keep doors and windows closed in buildings and cars,
- Set air conditioning to “recycle” or “recirculate,”
- Consider spending time or re-locating temporarily to a location with better air quality if you are experiencing negative symptoms related to the air quality. Adverse symptoms may include dizziness, headache, difficulty breathing, coughing, excessive phlegm, and nausea. Please contact your health care provider if you experience any of these symptoms.
This recommendation applies to everyone when the air quality is in the unhealthy, very unhealthy, or hazardous range, but it is especially important for sensitive groups which include:
- People with pre-existing lung or heart conditions such as asthma or emphysema, diabetes, or other respiratory infections;
- People who have had a stroke;
- Infants, children, and adults older than 65; and
- Pregnant women.
N-95 or P-100 masks can provide limited protection from the small particulate matter found in wildfire smoke if worn and fitted properly. Bandanas (wet or dry), paper or surgical masks, or tissues held over the mouth and nose will not protect your lungs from wildfire smoke. Individuals with heart or lung conditions should consult with their health care provider before using a mask. Masks are not designed to fit children properly and should not be used for children as they will not provide protection. Children should be kept indoors.
The Kittitas County Public Health Department and the Central Washington University Student Medical and Counseling Clinic have N-95 masks available to adults with respiratory health conditions such as asthma or emphysema if needed. Kittitas Valley Community Hospital has masks available for people who have a prescription from their health care provider.
Read the full press release:
Kittitas County, from the Cascades to the Columbia, and online at http://www.co.kittitas.wa.u