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In areas where fires are likely to occur, state and local public health agencies should consider running pre-season public service announcements (PSAs) or news releases to advise the public on how to prepare for the fire season. PSAs should be simple (e.g., the season for wildfires is approaching; there are things you can do now to help protect your health and prepare your home in the event of a wildfire), and Remove House Fire Smoke Odor From Clothes should list a contact phone number or website for further information.
News releases should be used to provide more detailed information, Remove House Fire Smoke Odor From Clothes including information for the general public and for people with chronic diseases. General recommendations to the public should include at least the following: 1. Have a several-day supply of nonperishable groceries that do not require cooking, since cooking (especially frying and broiling) can add to indoor pollutant levels.
2. If you develop symptoms suggesting lung or heart problems, consult a health care provider as soon as possible. 3. Be alert to PSAs. 4. Be aware that outdoor events, Remove House Fire Smoke Odor From Clothes such as athletic games or competitions, may be postponed or cancelled if smoke levels become elevated. Recommendations for people with chronic diseases should include at least the following:
1. Have an adequate supply of medication (more than 5 days). 2. People with asthma should have a written asthma management plan. 3. People with heart disease should check with their health care providers about precautions to take during smoke events. They should do this prior to the fire season if they live in an area that has the Remove House Fire Smoke Odor From Clothes potential for wildfires.
4. If you plan to use a portable air cleaner, buy one appropriately matched to room size, as specified by the manufacturer, Remove House Fire Smoke Odor From Clothes before a smoke emergency occurs. 5. Contact a health care provider if your condition worsens when you are exposed to smoke. 6. A news release could also include recommendations for preparing residences to keep smoke levels lower indoors, and on the appropriate use of respiratory protection.
See Appendices B, D, and E. Public advisories and Remove House Fire Smoke Odor From Clothes protective measures Areas with established air quality programs generally have several ways to alert the public about air pollution events. One approach is to refer to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EP's) Air Quality Index (AQI), which is used by states and many communities across the country (http://www.epa.gov/airnow/aqi_cl.pdf).
Other methods include websites, hotlines, press releases, Remove House Fire Smoke Odor From Clothes as well as emails and faxes to interested parties (such as sports team coaches and daycare providers). Some rural areas have used door-to-door dissemination of the visibility index (Table 1) and the associated health effects (Table 2). The AQI is a nationally uniform index required for reporting and forecasting daily air quality in large urban areas.
It is used to report information about the most common ambient air pollutants, including particulate matter. The AQI tells the public how clean or polluted the air is using standard descriptors (Good, Moderate, Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups, Unhealthy, Remove House Fire Smoke Odor From Clothes Very unhealthy, and Hazardous). This index converts sometimes difficult-to-interpret particulate mass per volume (μg/m3 ) numbers to an AQI category and number more easily understood by the public.
The AQI uses a normalized scale from 0 to 500 and associated health-based descriptors. An AQI value of 100 corresponds to the level of the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for a given pollutant. An advantage of the AQI over the μg/m3 value for particulate matter is that the AQI level of 100 represents a clear demarcation between satisfactory and unhealthy air quality, Remove House Fire Smoke Odor From Clothes at least with reference to the national standard, which is (in principle) established at a level that will protect public health.
When AQI values exceed 100, air quality is considered to be unhealthy, at first for members of susceptible populations, Remove House Fire Smoke Odor From Clothes then for everyone as AQI values increase. One issue that public health officials may face is which averaging time to use when reporting smoke levels to the public. The AQI for particulate matter is based on predicted or measured 24-hour average concentrations.
However, using the 24-hour average does not adequately address very high, but short-term, Remove House Fire Smoke Odor From Clothes peaks often associated with wildfire smoke. Health officials would like the public to reduce their exposure during these peaks because such transient pollutant spikes may cause some of the most serious health effects.
Moreover, the public wants information to help make immediate decisions about whether to exercise, conduct athletic practice, or keep children indoors. On the other hand, Remove House Fire Smoke Odor From Clothes several hours of very high levels may drive up the predicted 24-hour average; but the smoke may clear enough to safely allow outdoor activities.
In addition, the 24-hour average does not mesh well with public perception. Since smoke is so effective at scattering light, visibility changes drastically as smoke concentrations increase. Even without being told, the public can tell when the smoke is getting worse, Remove House Fire Smoke Odor From Clothes and they want authorities to respond to changes as they are happening.
Therefore, this guide provides information related to shorter averaging times to give more flexibility in reporting smoke levels to the public (see below). Table 2 provides a general list of health effects and cautionary statements for use in public advisories. The categories are based on the AQI, Remove House Fire Smoke Odor From Clothes as well as on work done in Montana, California, and Washington.
The recommended PM2.5 concentrations (1- to 3-hour and 8- hr averages) at which local officials may wish to consider issuing these advisories are listed in Table 3. If only PM10 measurements are available during smoky conditions, Remove House Fire Smoke Odor From Clothes it can be assumed that the PM10 is composed primarily of fine particles (PM2.5), and that therefore the AQI and associated cautionary statements and advisories for PM2.5 may be used.
This assumption is reflected in the column headings in Table 3. Table 3 provides guidance to public health officials regarding measures that can be taken to protect public health at different AQI categories and Remove House Fire Smoke Odor From Clothes the corresponding PM levels for several averaging times. This information is intended to help health officials, the media, and the general public make decisions regarding appropriate strategies to mitigate exposure to smoke.
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