Wildfire smoke can lead to health hazards
July 24, 2018
CRAIG — The Colorado Department of Health and Environment is warning residents about unhealthy air quality across the state due to several actively burning wildfires. Air quality is not expected to improve until fall.
Doctors from National Jewish Health in Denver say smoke from the numerous Colorado wildfires can cause problems for people with breathing problems or heart disease, as well as the very young and the elderly. Smoke from forest and grass fires contains particles that can irritate eyes, throat and lungs. Even healthy people may become symptomatic if the smoke is thick enough.
If wildfire smoke is triggering symptoms, National Jewish Health doctors recommend the following.
• If the smoke is causing symptoms, consider leaving the area until the air is clear again.
• Stay indoors as much as possible, and close windows.
• Limit or eliminate outdoor exercise until the air clears.
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• Take medications as prescribed, and use a rescue inhaler if one has been prescribed. People should not take more medication, or take it more often than prescribed.
• Call a doctor with questions or if symptoms worsen .
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issues a regular smoke outlook from the largest fires burning in the state.
CDPHE advised that, if visibility is less than five miles due to smoke, levels have reached unhealthy levels.