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Wine Country Wildfires Blanket NorCal With 'Very Hazardous' Air
13 October 2017, 12:42 | Rodolfo Wallace
Air quality Source
With air quality that bad, the DEM says, everyone (not just the young, old, or ill) should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.
Continuing wind and wildfires today may cause residents to experience trouble breathing, coughing, headaches and chest pain.
Thick wood smoke from wildfires, leaving the air opaque and the sky shades of brown and yellow, resulted in the worst air quality ever recorded near the heart of the North Bay fires on Monday and Tuesday.
These tiny particles are about 3 percent of the diameter of a human hair, which makes them even more unsafe because they can be inhaled into the lungs and bypass the body's filtration systems, slipping directly into the bloodstream.
"If you can smell smoke or see ash that is an indication that you should be treating air quality conditions as "unhealthy" and remain indoors", according to officials.
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Officials advise people in the area to stay indoors when possible and possibly leave the area until the forecast improves.
"When you have levels that are as unhealthy as we are seeing now, it's important for everyone to find a way to protect themselves from the smoke or to get out of the smoke all together", said Lisa Fasano, a spokeswoman for the district. "They exacerbate respiratory conditions like asthma, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), emphysema and other conditions, because they are very harmful". Usually the Bay Area benefits from a natural air conditioning system with winds blowing in off the coast and carrying the air inland. But people in the East Bay and South Bay are not completely in the clear because the toxic air is creeping all over the region. Children are at a greater risk from exposure to air pollution than adults.
The Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) will also perform wellness checks throughout San Francisco and providing transportation (upon request) to shelters. At the Markus Supply Ace Hardware store in Oakland, N95 masks are flying off the shelves.
At Kaiser Permanente in Richmond, volunteers said they had distributed far more protective face masks than usual.
Call your doctor if you have particular concerns about your own health or that of a family member. "It's not good for air quality".
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