MEDFORD, Ore.- Filtering face-piece respirators and masks can make the work of breathing more difficult and can lead to increased breathing rates and heart rates. They can also contribute to heat stress.
Because of this, respirator use by those with heart and respiratory diseases should only be done under a doctor’s supervision. Even healthy adults may find that the increased effort required for breathing makes it uncomfortable to wear a respirator for more than short periods of time.
Jackson County public health officials continue to urge residents to take precautions from wildfire smoke.
A number of wildfires are currently affecting air quality in the region and smoke conditions are expected to linger in Jackson County through the weekend. Smoke levels can rise and fall depending on weather factors, including wind direction, so it is important for people to be observant of the air quality during wildfire season.
During a wildfire, Jackson County public health officials advise residents to take the following precautions:
- Be aware of smoke concentrations in your area and avoid the places with highest concentrations.
- Avoid smoke either by leaving the area or protecting yourself by staying indoors, and by closing windows and doors
- Avoid strenuous outdoor activity in smoky conditions.
- People exposed to smoky conditions and who suffer from asthma or other respiratory problems should follow their breathing management plans or contact their healthcare providers.
- It is highly recommended that people stay inside and limit their outdoor activity. This is going to be your best defense in protecting your lungs from wildfire smoke.
- If you must be outdoors, wearing a special mask called a “particulate respirator” can also provide some protection your lungs from wildfire smoke. You will want to choose a mask called a “particulate respirator” that has the word “NIOSH” and either “N95” or “P100” printed on it.