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Wildfires and Stagnant Air Bring Air Quality Complaints

July 22, 2015

Those with asthma, heart or lung disease, children, elderly and pregnant women are most at risk

TACOMA, Wash. – Recent wildfires in and around Pierce County and stagnant air conditions have negatively affected air quality—causing some people to smell smoke. People with heart or lung disease, or those with respiratory issues such as asthma, colds or flu, are most at risk. Children, the elderly and pregnant women also need to take precautions.

Pay attention to updated air quality reports and health warnings from local news outlets and public health agencies.

Those at risk should avoid physical exertion if smoke is in the air. If advised to stay indoors, keep indoor air as clean as possible and keep windows and doors closed. Follow your doctor’s directions about taking medicine, and follow asthma or other management plans. Call your health care provider if symptoms worsen. If it is too hot and air conditioning is not available, consider leaving the area.

Running an air conditioner is OK, but keep the fresh-air intake closed and the unit set to recirculate. Use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to reduce indoor air pollution. And don’t add to pollution — avoid using tobacco products, candles, fireplaces, gas stoves or any recreational fires.

For the latest information on our area’s air quality, visit For more information on Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s work to improve local air quality, visit

Edie Jeffers, Communications Manager
(253) 798-2853, (253) 405-6822 (cell/text),

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