You can see it from your home, and many of you can smell it. For the second time in less than three weeks, Canadian wildfire smoke is impacting the air quality in Northeast Ohio.
Here's what you need to know:
Air Quality Alert
As of 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Northeast Ohio's air quality level is at 291, which puts us in the "Very Unhealthy" range. Everyone is advised to stay inside and should consider rescheduling any activities that are scheduled for the outdoors, according to the Ohio EPA.
The Ohio EPA's statewide Air Quality Alert is in effect until 12 a.m. on Thursday.
How to check the Air Quality in your zip code
How to stay safe
Authorities in Summit County released the following tips to protect yourself from the smoke:
1. Pay attention to local air quality reports and watch for health warnings about smoke. Take extra precautions such as limiting outdoor activity, especially exercise.
2. Pay attention to air visibility guidelines.
3. As it is recommended, stay indoors and keep your indoor air as clean as possible. Keep windows and doors closed unless it is very hot outside. Run an air conditioner if you have one, but keep the fresh air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside. Seek shelter somewhere else if you do not have an air conditioner and it is too warm to stay inside with the windows closed.
4. Use a freestanding indoor air filter with particle removal to help protect vulnerable individuals.
5. Do not add to indoor pollution. When smoke levels are high, do not use anything that burns, such as candles and fireplaces. Do not vacuum, because vacuuming stirs up particles already inside your home. Do not smoke tobacco or other products, because smoking puts even more pollution into the air.
6. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. If your eyes, nose or throat are irritated, running a humidifier may provide some relief.
7. Follow your doctor’s advice about medicines and about your respiratory management plan if you have asthma or another lung disease or cardiovascular disease. Call your doctor immediately if your symptoms worsen.
8. Do not rely on dust masks for protection, these masks will not protect your lungs from smoke particles.
9. Avoid smoke exposure during outdoor recreation. If conditions are considered unhealthy avoid or limit your outdoors exposure time.
10. Those with asthma are encouraged to carefully follow your asthma action plan, if you have one. Make sure you have enough medication for several days.
Breathing in smoke can have immediate health effects, including:
- Trouble breathing normally
- Stinging eyes
- Scratchy throat
- Runny nose
- Irritated sinuses
- Wheezing and shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Asthma trigger
- Fast heartbeat
To view everything that is closed Wednesday due to the alert, click here.