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Fires Cause Unhealthy Air

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Dr. Ernest Levister, Jr.
The smoke, ash and soot from the wildfires burning around Southern California affect the air we breathe.  The winds may relent allowing blue skies to reappear, but don’t be mislead.  While they may not be visible to the naked eye, there are still plenty of harmful toxins in the air. This is especially dangerous for people with chronic health problems, seniors and youngsters. Protect yourself because even short-term exposure can cause problems.

Public health officials in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties have issued new air quality alerts and warnings advising people to stay inside. Most of us become very sensitive at certain points, but children and the elderly are ever more susceptible. It’s important to keep them inside and safe.

This is especially true for seniors with health problems, such as heart conditions, asthma or emphysema and for children with any kind of respiratory problems. Smoke and ash can cause serious health risks if inhaled. But there are steps you can take to protect your lungs.

If you have air conditioning, start running it so soot and ash is not allowed to build up on the unit’s filters and blades. Close doors and windows to keep ash and smoke from seeping in. The weather condition can also cause dry skin, chapped lips and allergies.

Use a vaporizer or humidifier to moisten the air. Keep a Chap Stick or lip balm handy and avoid lotions, hair and bath products with perfumes and alcohol.

Pay attention to the air quality in your neighborhood.

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