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Air Quality In Smoke-Impacted Catalina Island May Be Unhealthy

Armen Hareyan's picture

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is issuing a health alert due to the smoke and associated air pollution from the fire on Los Angeles County's Catalina Island.

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Physical activity in any area with visible smoke should be restricted for all individuals. Air quality in smoke-impacted areas may be unhealthy for sensitive individuals. Sensitive individuals include those with heart disease or lung diseases, including emphysema, asthma, and chronic lung problems. These individuals should monitor their conditions and be vigilant about taking their medicines as prescribed by their healthcare providers. Individuals with asthma and related conditions should keep their "as needed" medications with them at all times. If symptoms worsen, sensitive individuals should contact their health care provider. In addition, the elderly are more susceptible to the effects of smoke and should be contacted to be sure they are not feeling any ill effects.

Residents of Catalina Island should be aware that the presence of smoky odors and ash are not necessarily cause for health concerns. However, sensitive individuals should continue to monitor their conditions and consult their health care provider if their symptoms worsen.

The Griffith Park wildfire is near full containment and no longer poses a significant threat to air quality. Residents in Central Los Angeles County and the East San Fernando Valley may resume normal activity. Staying indoors can somewhat reduce exposure to smoke, and keeping doors and windows closed while running the air conditioner is a good idea. Residents should check the filters on their air conditioners and replace them regularly. Indoor air filtration devices with HEPA filters can reduce the level of particles that circulate indoors.