State provides some tips while wildfire smoke raises concerns

From staff reports

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is providing common sense tips to help people stay healthy while current weather patterns push smoke from wildfires in eastern Canada into communities across the state, increasing the average concentrations of fine particulate matter in the air.

The Department of Environmental Protection declared a code red air quality action day Wednesday for fine particulate matter for the entire state.

“Many of us really enjoy spending time outside, however, while the smoke from Canadian wildfires is affecting our air quality, we need to consider moving physical activities indoors or rescheduling them,” said Dr. Debra Bogen, the state’s acting secretary of Health. “For the next day or two, I encourage people to limit time outside, especially if you are sensitive to poor air quality.”

All Pennsylvanians are encouraged to:
  • Avoid strenuous outdoor activities
  • Keep outdoor activities short
  • Consider moving physical activities indoors or rescheduling them
Here are tips to help keep particle pollution lower indoors:
  • Don’t use candles or smoke indoors
  • Keep windows and doors closed
  • If you have an air filter in your home, now is a good time to use it
  • Clean or replace filters according to manufacturer recommendations
  • The EPA offers do-it-yourself information to make your own portable air cleaner designed to reduce particles indoors

Air quality can affect your health, especially people who may be at greater risk, including:

  • People with heart disease
  • People with lung disease, including asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Older adults
  • Children and teenagers because their lungs are still developing, and they breathe more air relative to their size
  • People who are pregnant
  • People who work outdoors

People can visit to find the latest air quality levels and recommendations.