California fires: Tips to protect your lungs
provided by American Lung Association of California
he American Lung Association of California offers the following lung health tips and information about protection to residents affected by current fires throughout the state. People with respiratory problems such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis should monitor their breathing and exposure to airborne matter and consult with a physician immediately, should problems develop.
People living in fire-stricken areas should remain indoors and avoid inhalation of smoke, ashes and particulate matter in the air. It is recommended that people in the immediate and surrounding areas of the fires refrain from exercising outdoors; particularly if they smell smoke or notice eye or throat irritation.
When driving your car through smoky areas, keep your windows and air vents closed. Air conditioning should only be operated in the recirculate setting.
People with respiratory problems, including asthma, emphysema and bronchitis, who live in immediate and surrounding areas of fires should:
If you develop a persistent cough, or difficult or painful breathing, contact your physician. It is important to be aware that the onset of symptoms can appear as late as 24 to 48 hours after exposure and that smoke can remain in areas for many days after the fires have ended.
In relation to clean up, residents and volunteers should keep the following in mind, as the cleanup process involves ashes and other particulates:
For free information about lung health, contact the American Lung Association, toll-free, at 1 (800) LUNG-USA, which will automatically connect you with your local American Lung Association office or visit www.californialung.org.