For Immediate Release
Sonoma County issues health advisory due to poor air quality
SANTA ROSA, CA | August 30, 2023
The Sonoma County Department of Health Services today issued the following health advisory:
Health officials urge Sonoma County residents to limit outdoor activity due to the poor air quality caused by wildfire events throughout Northern California. People may experience adverse health effects from the smoke over Sonoma County and across the region. Members of sensitive groups may experience effects that are more serious. Older adults, pregnant individuals, children and people with heart disease or respiratory illness should avoid prolonged outdoor exertion. Everyone else, especially children, should limit outdoor exertion. Take more breaks during outdoor activities.
Keep yourself and others safe
- Check on friends, family and neighbors. Older adults, pregnant individuals, children and people with heart disease or respiratory illness are susceptible to elevated air pollution levels and should take precautions to avoid exposure.
- Smoke can irritate the eyes and airways, causing cough, a dry scratchy throat, runny nose, trouble breathing, and irritated sinuses. Stay hydrated by drinking water during heavy smoke events.
- High temperature can worsen effects of high Air Quality Index (AQI) events.
- Avoid adding additional air pollution by curtailing activities such as wood burning, lawn mowing, leaf blowing, driving, barbecuing, smoking, or other dust producing activities. Avoid using hairspray and painting indoors. If possible, use a stove fan when cooking.
Avoid poor air quality
- Shelter in place. Staying indoors with windows and doors closed, where the air quality is better, is the best way to protect your health. During high heat and heavy smoke events, keep indoor air cool.
- Set air conditioning units and car vent systems to recirculate to keep outside air from moving inside.
- Run your home or car air conditioner on recycle or recirculate. Keep the fresh air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent bringing additional smoke inside.
- Smoke can irritate the eyes and airways, causing cough, a dry scratchy throat, runny nose, trouble breathing and irritated sinuses. Stay hydrated by drinking water during heavy smoke events.
Air Quality Monitoring (AQI) Resources:
When checking the AQI, please note that federal certified monitors at EPA’s AirNow Fires site are most accurate but have an update lag of two to three hours.
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