Make sure you check the air quality in your neighborhood and read below for more tips!
Soot from wood smoke during the winter months, wildfire smoke, and emissions from cards and trucks during the summer months can impact the quality of the air we breathe. It’s important to know your air quality forecast every day.
Poor air quality is also more likely to affect sensitive groups — including people with heart and lung conditions, people with asthma, people who are pregnant, older adults, and children. Air quality conditions that are unlikely to affect the general population may pose a serious health risk to these sensitive groups.
Air Quality Index
Air quality is measured on a scale from 0 to 500, with higher numbers representing more particles in the air.
Staying Safe During Air Quality Events
Stay indoors with windows and doors closed.
Avoid prolonged or heavy exertion. Reschedule outdoor activities.
Check on family, friends and neighbors – particularly people who belong to “sensitive groups” that may be more susceptible to the health risks of poor air quality.
Move to a location with clean, filtered air spaces. These may include:
Indoor shopping malls
Cooling or community resource centers
Civic centers or local government buildings
Set air conditioning units to “re-circulate” to prevent bringing in air from outdoors.
Consider purchasing a HEPA air purifier. An air purifier can reduce the particle pollution in your home.
Smoke can irritate airways, causing a dry, scratchy throat or cough. Keep hydrated by drinking water.
Avoid adding to air pollution and making conditions worse by wood burning, lawn mowing, leaf blowing, driving, barbecuing, smoking, or other dust-producing activities. Avoid using hairspray and painting indoors.
Use an N-95 respirator masks (or higher) to keep particles out of the air you breathe. Be sure your mask fits properly. Do not save and reuse masks.
WARNING: N-95 respirators may actually impede the breathing of children and people with certain lung or heart conditions and therefore should not be used by these individuals.
Some Communities in California have instituted “Spare the Air” alerts which make it illegal to use all wood-burning devices.
To learn more about Spare the Air days, visit sparetheair.org or for more information on air pollution in California, visit the California Air Resources Board website at ww2.arb.ca.gov.