Breathe in. Now, breathe out. This week, May 3-7th, is air quality awareness week! 

We can not see air, but we all know how important it is to us. Without air, you wouldn't have your car to drive to work or that handy dandy air fryer to instantly cook your meals.

With air being so important for our health and everyday living, the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency is educating the community daily on ways to better understand our air environment.

Smoke from wildfires is a major concern for our air quality as well as other forms of air pollution such as car exhaust, industrial admissions, and various human activities.

According to the National Weather Service, sunshine, rain, and temperatures affect pollutant concentrations. The sun causes air particles to undergo chemical reactions resulting in smog. The higher the air temperature, the faster the reactions occur. Rain washes these particles away, but places like Spokane and nearby cities have been seeing very little of it. The wind is a factor that is mixing up and spreading out air particles. This will cause our bad air to be dispersed over larger areas reducing air quality more. 

The Spokane Clean Air Organization is making sure the community of Spokane is aware of the air we are affecting daily and how to ensure our health is in its best condition. For those with health conditions like asthma, it is recommended you keep your inhalers with you, especially as the weather gets HOT. Staying informed on a day to day can help you better understand the air quality and to prepare for your day's activities. 

For others, here's a list of ways you can help improve our air quality from the NWS. 

  • Eliminate tobacco smoke
  • Reduce your use of wood stoves and fireplaces
  • Don’t burn candles, leaves, garbage, plastic, or rubber
  • Use HEPA air filters and air cleaners designed to reduce particles
  • Drive less: carpool, use public transportation, bike or walk
  • Keep the car, boat, and other engines tuned
  • Inflate tires to the recommended pressure
  • When refueling stop when the pump shuts off, avoid spilling fuel, and tighten your gas cap
  • Use low-VOC paint and cleaning products, and seal and store them so they can’t evaporate
  • Choose energy-saving appliances
  • Set thermostats higher in summer and lower in winter
  • Turn off lights you are not using

Now breathe in again and breathe out. We are one step closer to helping our air stay clean!