WSU community members should take precautions to reduce exposure to unhealthy, smoky air.
Breathing in smoke can have immediate health effects. Older adults, pregnant women, children, and people with preexisting respiratory and heart conditions may be more likely to get sick if they breathe in wildfire smoke.
If you experience any signs of respiratory distress, contact your health care provider. Students can call Cougar Health Services at 509-335-3575.
There are many steps you can take for limiting exposure to unhealthy, smoky air.
Avoid being outdoors. Use public transportation rather than walking or biking.
Stay inside as much as possible. Keep indoor air clean by closing windows, and if possible use an air filter and air conditioning. Make sure your air conditioner’s fresh-air intake is closed and the filter is clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.
Do not add to indoor pollution. Avoid using candles, fireplaces, or gas stoves. Do not vacuum, because vacuuming stirs up particles already inside your home. Do not smoke, because smoking puts even more pollution into the air.
Follow your health care provider’s guidance. If you have asthma or another lung disease, follow your doctor’s advice about medicines and your respiratory management plan.
Wear a mask. Masks can help limit exposure to unhealthy, smoky air. Students can get a free basic mask from the clinic’s waiting and lobby area. The CDC advises against relying solely on basic masks for protection.
Students, faculty, and staff can purchase N95 masks for $1.50 at the Cougar Health Services pharmacy, The Market on Cougar Way, Flix Market, Towers Market, Hillside Market, and Union Market. These masks offer more protection than basic masks.