Health Department warns about dangers of wildfire smoke

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Health Department warns about dangers of wildfire smoke

Postby Wilberforce » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:09 pm

Health Department warns about dangers of wildfire smoke
June 01, 2012 1:49 PM
Okaloosa County Health Department

The Okaloosa County Health Department and the Florida Department of Health caution residents and visitors that smoke is a respiratory irritant that can cause a scratchy throat or irritated eyes and nose. Smoke from wildfires is a mixture of gases and fine particles from burning plant materials. Fortunately, most people who are exposed to thick smoke will not have health problems. How much and how long a person is exposed to the smoke -- as well as age and degree of susceptibility -- play a role in determining whether or not someone will experience smoke-related problems.

Smoke may worsen symptoms for people who have pre-existing respiratory conditions, such as respiratory allergies, heart or lung disease, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the following ways.

> Inability to breathe normally
> Cough with or without mucus
> Chest discomfort
> Wheezing and shortness of breath
> Fatigue

If you are experiencing serious medical problems for any reason, seek medical treatment immediately. Follow your doctor’s advice about taking medicines and following your asthma management plan if you have asthma or other lung disease.

Protect yourself and your family from smoke.

> Pay attention to local air quality reports, news coverage, and health warnings.
> Use common sense when outside conditions are smoky. Avoid prolonged outdoor activities. It is especially important to limit time spent outdoors for children and persons with existing medical conditions.
> Stay indoors and run your air conditioner if you have one. Keep the fresh air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent bringing additional smoke inside. For best results, run the air conditioner with re-circulated air. NOTE: If you do not have an air conditioner, staying inside with the windows closed may be dangerous in extremely hot weather. In these cases, seek alternative shelter.
> Minimize other sources of air pollution (ex: smoking tobacco, using wood burning stoves, burning candles/incense, etc).
> Keep windows closed while driving in a vehicle.

For additional information, contact the Okaloosa County Health Department at 850-833-9240 or visit

source ... tment.html
• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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Re: Health Department warns about dangers of wildfire smoke

Postby jahanshazi » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:03 am

This was interesting.

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