Keeping safe around smoke and smog

Do things around you get you asking questions? This is how some of the topics I blog about come to life. Over 2.5 hours east from my home, in the town of Lytton there was a bad wildfire that took out the town. Animals and people were displaced with nowhere to live. Many of the areas around have been devastated by fires over the years. In 2019/2020 Australia had so many devastating fires that took out a vast part of the animals and land. Fire fighters from many parts of the world came to their aid.

This is how the air looked in my town with the smoke, the sun had a orange hue.

As a result of the fires, my area has been dealing with smoke drifting in so bad some days that I had to wear a respirator outside to water gardens. It feels strange to put on a respirator (I feel like a character from Star Wars called Darth Vader) that I use for house repairs. It helps to prevent my breathing from getting bad.

There are many areas in the world that suffer from pollution. Many Cities in India and some places in China struggle with air quality. In many areas you can check a website or app for daily air quality. Some of the things they do to reduce the intake of pollution is mask goggles, cloth over their nose and mouth.

Photo by Frans Van Heerden from Pexels

On to the difference between smoke and smog. Smog is kinda a catch all for air pollution so smoke is under that umbrella. There are different kinds of smog. 

  • Photochemical smog is an accumulation of exhausts from vehicles and other gas run equipment including factories and industry off gassing.
  • Smoke is a result of fires domestic, rural or wildfires.

All sources have small particles that enter our bodies. 

When you have poor air quality and lung challenges you need to be mindful. Even without lung problems air pollution can have hidden health effects.

Ways you can safeguard your health, close the windows in your home and have a good air purifier with multi filters. If your lungs or general health is poor, owning and wearing a respirator on bad days can reduce what your body takes in via the airways. Your body will still take in some of the pollutants but it will not be directly into your airways.

Use products they don’t contain volatile chemicals, I switched to a green company call Shaklee after many trips to the hospital with breathing problems. I was so grateful I switched my health got better when I changed. If you have questions about this company please send a message. I might do a future post on this. Learn about indoor air quality.

If you have lung conditions such as asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) , Covid or Covid long halers, cancer (especially lung cancer)  heart or any other condition that limits your breathing or overall health, stay in safe places with minimal invasive chemical cleaners or other indoor pollutants. If you have struggles with breathing and you have a inhaler please carry it with you if you must be outdoors. If ever you have a sudden struggle with breathing even if it is a new health condition, please seek medical help. 

When To get emergency help. In our area you call 911 for an emergency that will have them dispatch an ambulance. If you need to use this or other services there may be a private cost that you need to pay out of pocket. Some extended health plans will give you aid or reimbursement.

  • If you can’t take a deep breath/ choking, gasping for air 
  • Became dizzy, light headed
  • Blue lips or nail beds 
  • Signs of shock
  • Low blood pressure
  • Blood oxygen is low. You can buy a small pocket O2 (Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor ) sensor for your home use. You can buy a finger monitor for less than $25 dollars on Amazon and many medical supply places. Knowing what are healthy blood oxygen levels.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels Firefighters work hard and are exposed to so much danger.

Last year in late summer I had to have a family member call the nurse services line in our area (811 in Canada) If you call them in Canada have your health care number/services card ready, it might be attached to your drives license. It is free to call. When My family explained I had cold sweat while having breathing problems, chest pain, problems talking and swallowing. They said hang up and call 911, an ambulance was dispatched and they had to take me to hospital. It was very scary. So if you are worried then it is better to get medical help than be scared and in poor health.

What do you do to limit your exposure to pollutants? Have a safe week, try not to over do activities in the heat and bad air quality. Enjoy extra water.

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