As fire season is underway, with brushfires and wildfires throughout Southern and Northern California, it is especially important for patients already fighting disease and with compromised immune systems to protect themselves from the harm and toxins that wildfire smoke contains.
The biggest health threat from smoke is from fine particles that can penetrate deep into your lungs. This causes a range of health problems, from burning eyes and a runny nose to aggravated chronic heart and lung diseases.
At City of Hope, our facilities are air purified and provide a safe environment from the smoke.
At home, please take precautions during this time to reduce your wildfire smoke exposure:
- Stay indoors.
- Reduce activities that would make you breathe heavier.
- Reduce sources of indoor pollution (smoking, vaping, spraying aerosols, frying, lighting candles). Avoid vacuuming, which can recirculate particles.
- Use your air conditioner, particularly if there is a filter.
- If available, use room air cleaners, especially if they have HEPA filters.
- If you have to go outdoors, even for a brief time, wear a mask or respirator, which are available at many home improvement stores.
- If you are a patient at our Duarte main campus and have any questions or concerns, please call our 24-hour Nurse Triage Line at (626) 218-7133. If you are a patient being treated at one of our community sites, you should contact the physician overseeing your care.
- If you experience any difficulty breathing, you should go to the emergency room for treatment.
For more information and safety tips, the following resources are available to you:
- Get air quality information: Check your local news or visit https://www.airnow.gov
- Learn about home air cleaners
- Find certified air cleaning devices
- Learn how to use an N95 respirator mask
- Find air quality conditions: Fires — Current Conditions