The dangers of smoke from wildfires

SACRAMENTO – Smoke is a mixture of gases, chemicals, dust and other fine particles in the air. If you see or smell smoke, more than likely you are breathing it in.

The fine particles associated with smoke are particulate matter pollution. The particles are microscopic and can get into your eyes and respiratory system. They can get even get into your bloodstream.

Smoke can exacerbate existing health issues such as asthma, COPD, and bronchitis. Smoke can cause headaches, coughing, a scratchy throat, irritate sinuses and eyes.

People most affected by smoke are older adults, children, and people with heart or lung disease. When smoke is in the air, there are several things you can do to protect yourself:

  • Close windows and doors
  • Run the air conditioner on the "recycle" setting
  • Limit outdoor activity
  • Change clothes when inside
  • Use only HEPA filter masks


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