Air Quality Health Advisory

San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) advises that if moderate to heavy smoke is visible, air quality has reached levels that are unhealthy

Individuals should take health precautions especially if they are experiencing symptoms.

Tips to protect yourself:

  • If you smell smoke and/or are beginning to experience symptoms, consider temporarily relocating to another area as long as it is safe for you to do so.
  • Seek out locations where air is filtered. For example, heading to the local mall, movie theater or recreation center can provide some temporary relief.
  • Close windows and doors, avoid outdoor activity, and stay inside. However, do not close up your home tightly if it makes it dangerously warm inside.
  • Run the air conditioning, evaporative cooler, or the fan feature on your home heating system, if filtered, (with the heat turned off). Keep the outdoor air intake closed and be sure the filter is clean. Filtered air typically has less smoke than the air outdoors. Running these appliances if they are not filtered can make indoor smoke worse.
  • If you have any HEPA room air filtration units, use them.
  • Avoid exercise or other strenuous activities in heavy smoke. If smoke is simply unpleasant or mildly irritating, changing the timing of a few activities may be all that is necessary.
  • Avoid smoking and/or secondhand smoke, vacuuming, candles and other sources of additional air pollution.
  • Commercially available dust masks may seem like a good idea, but they do virtually nothing to filter out the particles and gasses in smoke.

As temperatures cool in the evening inversion conditions worsen and smoke in low lying areas may become thicker, especially if the outdoor air is still. It tends to be worst near dawn.

  • Close bedroom windows at night.
  • To prepare for nighttime smoke, consider airing out your home during the early or middle of the afternoon when smoke tends to be more diluted. Use your best judgment. If smoke is thick during the day, follow the tips above.

If symptoms persist or become more severe, please contact your primary health care provider.

For more information:

See SJPBH’s website: www.sjbpublichealth.org

Smoky conditions serve as a reminder to prepare individual plans to stay safe from wildfire and to prepare emergency kits in case of a wildfire emergency. For information about getting prepared, visit:http://www.colorado.gov/airquality/colo_smoke.aspx.