Recently, a public health emergency was declared in California due to the outbreak of three deadly wildfires that swept across the Northern and Southern regions. Heavy smoke and ash that blanketed the entire region caused the officials to issue health advisories for the South Coast and Bay Area Air Quality Management Districts.
Smoke from wildfires is linked to severe health problems. It’s essential that people living in the wildfire-prone regions should learn how to stay safe and healthy during an outbreak.
Wildfire Smoke is a complex mixture of microscopic particles and gases including carbon monoxide and volatile organic carbon (produced due to the burning of wood and other organic matter). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that exposure to wildfire smoke can make you sick by causing or worsening many health problems that include:
People who are exposed to wildfire smoke can develop a host of health problems as mentioned below:
Short-term exposures can aggravate pre-existing health issues like asthma, COPD, decreased lung function, or other lung and heart diseases
Long-term exposures can raise the risk of heart and lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.
Use the following measures to safeguard yourself from wildfire smoke:
Here are a few safety measures to follow when facing a fire nearby:
It’s important to pay attention to health and safety warnings, and stay in touch with your healthcare provider if your symptoms worsen during a fire, especially if you are: