sailboat in puget sound waters

Poor Air Quality in Puget Sound: Information and Resource Links

sailboat in puget sound waters
Photo by Michael Li (cc license).

Wildfire smoke can cause a range of health problems including trouble breathing, coughing , headaches, chest pain. 

Children, pregnant women, older adults, those with asthma, heart disease and other chronic illnesses are especially vulnerable to these health impacts.

Precautions to Avoid Negative Health Outcomes 

These include: staying indoors (if possible), limiting outdoor physical activity (such as running, walking, bicycling, sports), closing windows at home, using an indoor air filter, keeping windows closed while driving and wearing a N95 or N100 rated filtration mask (available at hardware home repair stores). 

Smoke from wildfires increases health risks for sensitive groups, including children and babies, especially those who also have asthma or other health conditions.  Pregnant women, people over 65, and those who have heart, lung and other health conditions are also at higher risk.

Please check Puget Sound Clean Air Agency website frequently for updates on air quality. Air quality can change quickly, depending on the wind.

Breathing smoky air can cause a wide range of symptoms from watery eyes and coughing to chest pain and asthma attacks. If you or someone you know is experiencing serious symptoms, contact your healthcare provider, or call 911 if these symptoms become life-threatening. 

Recommendations from Washington State Department of Health

  • Close windows and doors as much as possible. Use fans or an air conditioner (AC) when it is hot, and set your AC to recirculate. If you do not have AC and it is too hot to stay home, go to a place with AC such as a mall, library, or community center in your city.
  • Everyone should stay indoors and avoid strenuous physical activities outside.
  • Keep indoor air clean.  
  • Don’t add to indoor air pollution. Don’t use candles, food boilers, incense, or gas stoves. 
  • Don’t vacuum as vacuuming stirs up additional particles into the air.   
  • Use an air cleaner with a HEPA filter,but do not use an air cleaner that produces ozone.
  • Consider creating your own air purifier with a box fan if you cannot afford an air cleaner.
  • Make sure everyone drinks plenty of water.

Information flyers in 10 languages

Resources for everyone as well as specific information for people who are especially sensitive to smoke (English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Punjabi, Russian, Somali, Tagalog, Ukrainian, Vietnamese) 

Information Flyers in 10 Languages on Air Quality

How People with Health Conditions can Protect Themselves from Wildfire Smoke

English
Spanish Translation
Video highlighting how pregnant women and children can protect themselves from wildfire smoke.

For more Information on Health Effects from Wildfires

Frequently Asked Questions on Smoke from Fires
Female nurse taking blood pressure of female patient in a hospital bed

Translated Nurse-to-Patient Communication Pages – Harborview

Female nurse taking blood pressure of female patient in a hospital bed
Photo by UW Medicine

Pages developed with nurses and interpreters to aid caregivers in communicating basic information to their patients. Use of the pages requires no prior knowledge of the patient’s language, but requires that a patient be able to read and point to a written response.

These pages are not meant to be a substitute for using a qualified interpreter. Rather, they are a basic communication aid for nurses providing comfort and care to patients. For more complex communication needs, always use an interpreter.

The Greek and Polish translations have not been reviewed. Thanks to Camelia Ades, RN, MSN, MPH for contributing the Romanian translation

laughing chinese grandma

Signs and Symptoms of Heart Attack in Women

A 1 page PDF with pictures and simple text about the signs and symptoms of heart attack in women. Translations were produced by Franciscan Health System and Hope Heart Institute and are based on an English version produced by the Office on Women's Health.

Available in Chamorro, Chinese, English, Khmer, Korean, Russian, Samoan, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Ukranian and Vietnamese. PDFs in sidebar.

Posted with permission from the Hope Heart Institute.

laughing chinese grandma
Photo by Elizabeth Phung (cc license).

Stool Sample Collection Instructions

Instructions for a fecal occult blood test (FOBT) that is used at Harborview Medical Center.  It explains that there are many different kinds of medical tests requiring different kinds of preparation, encouraging patients to talk to their doctors about the test preparation that is right for them.

Available in English only, Amharic, Chinese, Khmer, Korean, Oromo, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Tigrinya and Vietnamese.

2 page PDF, with target language on 1 side and English on back side. PDFs are available in sidebar.

Photo by Rob (cc license)