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Air Quality for Air Breathers

July 26th, 2009 by Sharon O'Hara

The American Lung Association of Washington has many great services for lung challenged folks – sending air quality alerts to those who sign up for it is one of them.

Until KS’s own weather fellow, Matthew Leach, “Forecasting Kitsap” blog http://pugetsoundblogs.com/forecasting-kitsap/2009/07/26/excessive-heat-watch-issued-the-heat-and-humidity-has-arrived-folks/
begins announcing the daily and forecast air quality with his reports, I will do it here, thanks to the ALAW notice.

Maybe Matt can tell us what “Numerical Value” means. For a moderate breathing day, it is 51 – 100.

Many lung challenged folks cannot breathe in hot moist air. For me, a humid hot day is like trying to breathe through a warm soaking wet thick wool blanket and then I move.

Many of us carry a small battery operated fan – I attached them to my dog crates when we had to travel on a hot day and they helped move air on days without a breeze when we stopped and had the doors wide open for ventilation.

Today’s air quality is green – good.
Tomorrow is not so good. Following is the moderate forecast for tomorrow and brief description..

“Air quality is Moderate. Sensitive people should take necessary health precautions during this time. Weather changes can affect air quality quickly so please pay attention to your local weather forecasts.

For more information about air quality and your health, visit website at www.alaw.org, or call us 1-800-LUNG-USA.
Air Quality Index

Level of Health Concern Numerical Value
51-100
Meaning
Air quality is acceptable; however, for some pollutants there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of people who are unusually sensitive to air pollution.

Weather Conditions:

Summer – Hot and sunny conditions. A temperature inversion exists, creating stagnant air and trapping pollutants close to the ground. Conditions may include light/moderate winds. High pressure system, haze or partly cloudy skies.

Health Information:
Sensitive individuals and people with respiratory disease should consider limiting prolonged outdoor exertion.
If you have asthma make sure you have an Asthma Management Plan to follow.

Action You Can Take Now:

• Avoid using your woodstove or fireplace and burning outdoors to reduce health harmful particulates in the air.
• Drive Less. Automobile exhaust and diesel emissions account for the bulk of harmful particles in the air.
• Leave your car at home. Work at home, take the bus or carpool to work.
• “Trip-Link” errands to reduce vehicle trips.”

In addition, the American Lung Association of Washington offers free air quality home assessments by their volunteer driven program, Master Home Environmentalist. alaw@alaw.org (206) 441-5100 or 800-LUNG-USA.

…thanks for dropping by… Sharon O’Hara

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5 Responses to “Air Quality for Air Breathers”

  1. Matthew Leach Says:

    Thank you very much for bringing this up, Sharon. Amidst all the record numbers that go along with this heatwave I tend to neglect the not-so-little things like air quality.

    In my latest blog post I did mention the NWS has issued an Air Stagnation Advisory for most of Western Washington meaning very muggy, unhealthy air quality. Sensitive groups need to pay particular attention. During the course of this week and beyond, I will be sure to include an Air Quality Forecast :)

    ~Matt

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This is a patient to patient blog to exchange information and resources...from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) to Arthritis to Cellulites to Sarcoidosis to Sleep Apnea to RLS to Psoriasis to Support Groups to Caregivers and all points in between. Written by Sharon O'Hara.

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