06-26-12 *US Senator Bennet’s Office* Health Recommendations for Wildfire Smoke…
Posted by Brian Allmer on June 26, 2012
Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet’s office is passing along this important information regarding the effects of wildfire smoke for those close to any of the wildfires. The following health recommendations and other considerations have been posted on National Jewish Health’s website. Bennet has also posted other resources and information regarding Colorado’s wildfires on his website.
Smoke from wildfires can cause problems for those with respiratory and cardiac disease as well as the very young and elderly. Smoke from forest and grass fires contains particles that can irritate eyes, throat and lungs. These can be bothersome to many people, but especially so to those with compromised lungs.
Smoke can worsen symptoms for those children and adults who have pre-existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma, allergies and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Typical symptoms may include:
- Difficulty breathing normally
- Cough with or without mucus
- Chest discomfort
- Wheezing and shortness of breath
Particulate-laden smoke can also worsen cardiac disease. Inhaled particles trigger the release of chemical messengers into the blood that may increase the risk of blood clots, angina episodes, heart attacks and strokes. People with chronic cardiac conditions are more susceptible to chest pain, heart attacks, cardiac arrhythmias, acute congestive heart failure or stroke.
If wildfire smoke is triggering mild symptoms, National Jewish Health doctors recommend:
- Taking your medications as prescribed.
- Using your rescue inhaler if your doctor has recommended one.
- Staying indoors as much as possible.
- Limiting exercise outdoors.
- Considering leaving the area if smoke is making you sick, until the air is clear again.
- Consulting your physician if respiratory or chest symptoms become severe.
National Jewish Health is in the process of updating these recommendations to include additional information regarding heat/ozone and the potential for long-term effects.
People who are feeling symptoms they think might be caused by the smoke, can call the LungLine at 800-222-LUNG, to talk to registered nurses staffing those phones. The service is free.
U.S. SENATOR MICHAEL BENNET…Member: Agriculture, HELP, Banking and Aging Committees