Smoke from Georgia Wildfires Pose Potential Health Dangers | Health

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Smoke from Georgia Wildfires Pose Potential Health Dangers
Health
Smoke from Georgia Wildfires Pose Potential Health Dangers

Step outside and you can smell it immediately. The smoke generated from several wildfires burning in southern Georgia is blowing our way. That smoke can cause health problems for people who don’t limit their exposure. “Anybody that has a respiratory condition like asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and people with chronic congestive heart failure should definitely try to stay indoors,” says Dr. Frederick Jenkins with Memorial Hospital. “They should keep the windows closed and run their AC unit to filter out the air.” The smoke can affect people who have never had signs of asthma before. “Obey your nose,” Dr. Jenkins says. “If you’re outside and you’re smelling smoke, you know it’s there so you want to limit your exposure. Even people that might not think the smoke will affect them could end up facing medical problems.”

Smoke can cause

  • Coughing          
  • Scratchy throat
  • Irritated sinuses
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Headaches
  • Stinging eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Asthma exacerbations

Advice for dealing with the smoke

1.      Children, seniors and people with chronic respiratory problems should stay indoors.

2.      Keep windows closed. Run air conditioner inside the house and car. Air conditioners filter out dust and particles.

3.      Reduce physical activities. This will lower the dose of inhaled pollutants and minimize health risks during a smoke event.

4.      Reduce other sources of indoor air pollution. Burning cigarettes, gas, propane and wood burning stoves and furnaces and activities such as cooking, burning candles and incense and vacuuming can greatly increase the particle levels in a home and should be avoided when wildfire smoke is present.

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