Smoke from the Canada wildfires has drifted in the Northeast United States, affecting over 90 million people – and particularly impacting people with asthma and other chronic health conditions.

Per the Financial Post: “Airborne particles and toxins can cause complications for people with lung diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as well as cardiovascular illness, and can be more serious for young children and the elderly.”

In addition to carbon monoxide and other dangerous chemicals, smoke from wildfires contains particulate matter small enough to be inhaled into the lungs and can enter the bloodstream. People who are especially vulnerable to the particles should consider wearing an N95 mask.

Another way to protect yourself from poor air quality is to track it using EPA website or an air quality tracking app. Other tips for asthma sufferers, as well as those with pre-existing respiratory conditions:

  • If air quality is poor, stay indoors and keep doors and windows closed.
  • Keep your home well ventilated. Indoor air filters can help reduce or remove pollutants.
  • If you must go outside, use your rescue inhaler 15 minutes before doing so. Also make sure you inhaler prescription is up to date.
  • Don’t dust or mow your lawn on days when the air quality is poor. 
  • If you experience a cough or have trouble breathing, contact your doctor.