What to Know about Smokey Skies
Did you ever think that having smoke in the air would be so bad? The normal air quality rating in the Bay Area is between 51 and 100. When the Bay Area was covered in smoke, the air quality rating went up into the 300s. On the average smokey day, the air quality rating was between 150 and 200, in the unhealthy zone. The air in Chico, where the devastating Camp Fire burned, has been enduring an average air quality rating of 300, which is very hazardous. Luckily, everyone has evacuated. Dryness and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin are the most common side effects. People can also experience headache, fatigue, shortness and breath, hypersensitivity and allergies, sinus congestion, coughing and sneezing, and dizziness when exposed to smoke.
The California air quality ratings have been at an unhealthy level, so precautions should be taken to keep people safe. The California Air Resources Board as made a statement to children, elderly people, and people with asthma and severe allergies to not be in too much exposure with the outside air. The city of Sacramento has supplied homeless people with masks that filter the air they breathe. The Department of Industrial Resolutions for Workers says, “When exposure to wildfire smoke is considered harmful, employers are required [to] implement feasible modifications to the workplace to reduce exposure. Examples include providing enclosed structures or vehicles for employees to work in, where the air is filtered.” This statement was made to keep people safe in the workplace while the air is polluted. With all the smoke in the air, it is important to take all necessary precautions to protect yourself and to be grateful that you and your loved ones are safe. Consider donating to the Red Cross or other organizations working for fire relief to help people living in Chico rebuild their homes and their lives.