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What’s with all the haze in our area?

If you have been outside, you will definitely see the hazy atmosphere. Unfortunately, it’s not coming from humidity, but from numerous wildfires that is currently damaging thousands of Canadian acreage. The smoke is brought down the eastern side of the United States due to the direction of the wind which can cause some very serious outdoor conditions.

Many counties in different eastern states have declared their area an “unhealthy” air quality. Exposure from the wildfire smoke can cause eye, throat, and sinus irritation. This can cause people to cough and make it hard to breathe. Vulnerable groups such as the elderly, pregnant women, children and pets can pose problems that can be a lot more severe. Smoke inhalation can occur when you or your pet breathe in harmful smoke particles and gases. Lungs and airways can be inflamed that will swell and block oxygen by inhaling harmful smoke. It can lead to respiratory distress syndrome and failure. The materials, chemicals and gases that are burning within the wildfire can cause lack of oxygen, chemical irritation, asphyxiation or even a combination of all three.

There are signs to look out for if someone or an animal is in trouble from inhaling too much smoke. Symptoms may include:

  • Headache

  • Acute mental status changes

  • Changes in skin color

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath

  • Hoarseness

If any of these symptoms should appear, call 911 IMMEDIATELY or take your pet to a vet!!

  • Loss of consciousness

  • Burns to the face or neck

  • Changes in voice

  • Respiratory symptoms

  • Soot in the mouth or airway

  • Singed nasal hairs

There are precautions that can be taken to ensure no or low smoke is inhaled for both yourself and your pet.

  • Avoid strenuous outdoor activities

  • Keep outdoor activities short

  • Consider moving physical activities indoors or reschedule them

  • Stay indoors as much as possible

  • Keep your windows closed

  • Use an air purifier if possible

Make sure to check your current weather and air conditions throughout the day. This will tell you if there is a high alert for air quality within your area to ensure you and your pet’s safety.


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