Staying safe while dealing with the smoke from Canada

Knowing when to limit activities is one of the many steps to stay safe in the smoke.
Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 7:10 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Smoke from the Canadian Wildfires continues to impact the air quality across the northeast, that includes here in the Mid-Ohio Valley.

Even though the smoke we are seeing is not as bad as in places like New York City, you or a family member might still have some difficulty breathing.

Community Health Director Malcolm Lanham, with the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department, says you should to take it easy, especially if you are considered at risk due to asthma, COPD, or other breathing conditions.

“If you see that it’s hazy out there, and if you smell smoke, then it might be a good indicator to reduce your activity. Reduce your activity outside, reduce the activity that you are doing,” said Lanham.

Being mindful of how you feel when doing activities outside is another good way to stay safe.

“If you are outside doing activities, and you notice there is a little bit of an issue breathing consistently, then you may want to bring yourself in,” recommends Lanham.

Lanham also suggests to limit smoke inside your house.

“Reduce your own internal pollution in your house. Things like smoking; you want to make sure that you limit that. Vaping, and those kinds of things, are all things that irritate your respiratory system, especially with the particulates that are outside right now,” said Lanham.

Having a location with limited pollution that you can go to could potentially be helpful.

“If somebody, whether it be your child, yourself, a family member, abruptly becomes short of breath, you want to get them inside, see if you can get them to calm down, and if not, contact 9-1-1,” advises Lanham.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has issued a statewide Air Quality Advisory for all of Wednesday; and will reassess Thursday.

To view the current air quality index in your area you can visit AirNow.