Poor air quality affects your health.
Learn how you can improve the air–and your health.
- Your age, general health, and the amount and length of exposure to smoke determines whether you will experience smoke-related health problems.
- When smoke levels are high, even healthy people may experience symptoms.
- Smoke can also affect indoor air quality in businesses and buildings like schools, hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and offices.
- When smoke levels are heavy outdoors, a large amount of smoke can get indoors, even when you close windows and doors.
- Commercial buildings and schools air filtration systems’ draw in the outdoor air. Standard HVAC air filters don’t remove most of the ultra-fine smoke particles. MERV 13, or equivalent, high efficiency air filters can help remove particulates from the air.
10 ways to improve air quality and protect your health:
- Sign up for burn ban alerts and abide by them. Know when air quality conditions become stagnant!
- Burn seasoned, dry wood to release the least possible amount of smoke. Avoid:
- Wet wood—It produces a lot of smoke and won’t burn efficiently.
- Treated or painted wood—It will produce very toxic chemicals if burned.
- Burning cardboard or papers you want to get rid of—Recycle instead.
- Dispose of yard clippings properly—Outdoor burning is illegal in most of Pierce County.
- Take a break from the driver’s seat when possible—Public transit, carpool, biking or walking can be an enjoyable way to reduce emissions.
- Combine errands to save gas—Reduce exhaust fumes if you need to drive.
- Be Idle Free—Switch off your car when you idle for more than 10 seconds.
- Slow down when you drive and keep a consistent foot on the gas—Speeding and slamming on your brakes wastes fuel.
- Keep your vehicle’s engine and tire pressure in top condition—A well-maintained vehicle produces less pollution.
- Avoid garden tools that run on gasoline—A push or electric mower doesn’t pollute like a gas mower.
- Be mindful of spillage when filling your gas tank.