Potential health threat from fire smoke - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Potential health threat from fire smoke

SPOKANE, Wash. - The fire burning in the downtown Spokane area may be cause for concern for people in the immediate area and for those who are sensitive to smoke. "Smoke's greatest threat is to the very young, the elderly and those with heart and lung conditions such as asthma or heart disease," says Julie Graham, spokesperson for the Spokane Regional Health District. People are urged to limit their exposure to any smoke, including low levels.    Keeping indoor air as clean as possible will also limit exposure to smoke.  Keep windows and doors closed, unless it is extremely hot outside.  Air conditioners should have the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.  Recirculation of the cool air in your car will also reduce exposure to the smoke outside and keep the air in your car cleaner.    Those who suffer from asthma or other lung conditions should follow their respiratory management plan, and should seek medical care if they have difficulty breathing or if their typical symptoms worsen.   Smoke is made up of a complex mixture of gases and fine particles that can get into your eyes and respiratory system, where they can cause health problems such as burning eyes, runny nose, and illnesses such as bronchitis and can worsen chronic heart and lung diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Smoke can cause:
  • Coughing
  • A scratchy throat
  • Irritated sinuses & eyes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Headaches
  • Asthma symptoms
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