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Poor Air Quality Fact Sheet

Actions to protect health on poor air quality days

[Poor Air Quality Fact Sheet from the New Jersey Department of Health](

Poor air quality can result from presence ofparticulate matter due to wildfires

  • Sensitive populations (which includes the elderly, infants and young children, peoplewith lung diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD),emphysema or chronic bronchitis) should remain indoors

    • Individuals with asthma: Poor air quality may trigger asthma attacks.

    • Individuals with respiratory diseases: Follow physician’s recommendations andrespiratory management plan.

  • People in general should avoid strenuous activities and limit the amount of time theyare active outdoors.

  • For people who work outdoors or need to be outside:
    • Take more breaks indoors if possible

    • Shorten the length and intensity of any physical activity

  • The most effective way to prevent breathing harmful particles from wildfire smoke isto stay indoors with windows and doors closed.

  • If an air conditioner is available, run it while keeping the fresh-air intake closed and thefilter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.

  • When outdoor air quality is poor, do not use candles and fireplaces which could add toindoor air pollution. Do not vacuum, because vacuuming stirs up particles alreadyinside your home. Do not smoke tobacco or other products, because smoking putseven more pollution into the air.

  • Do not rely on dust masks for protection. Paper “comfort” or “dust” masks commonlyfound at hardware stores trap large particles, such as sawdust. These masks will notprotect your lungs from smoke. People who must be outside can have some protectionfrom an N95 mask if worn properly.