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NEWS RELEASE <br /> September 15, 2020 <br /> MASON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS <br /> 411 NORTH 5T" ST <br /> SHELTON, WA 98584 <br /> TO: KMAS, KRXY, SHELTON-MASON COUNTY JOURNAL, THE OLYMPIAN, <br /> SHELTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, NORTH MASON CHAMBER OF <br /> COMMERCE, CITY OF SHELTON, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL, <br /> THE SUN <br /> RE: Air Quality Health Effects in Mason County <br /> Mason County Public Health is recommending all residents stay indoors and take <br /> precautions to protect their health due to unhealthy air quality conditions from wildfire <br /> smoke. The Washington Air Quality Advisory (WAQA) levels in Mason County have <br /> reached ranges considered "Very Unhealthy for Everyone" to "Hazardous for Everyone". <br /> People with heart or lung disease, or those who have had a stroke, should consult their <br /> healthcare provider to determine the best course of action to protect their health during <br /> times of hazardous air quality. <br /> When air quality is at unhealthy and hazardous levels, even healthy people may have <br /> symptoms which can range from minor irritations to life-threatening complications. <br /> Sensitive groups which include children under 18, adults over 65, people that are <br /> pregnant, have respiratory illnesses, those who smoke, and those who do not have <br /> shelter can have even higher risk. <br /> Symptoms and complications may include: <br /> • Watery or dry eyes <br /> • Coughing/wheezing <br /> • Throat & sinus irritation <br /> • Phlegm <br /> • Shortness of breath <br /> • Headaches <br /> • Irregular heartbeat <br /> • Chest pain <br /> Dial 911 for emergency assistance if symptoms are serious or life-threatening, such as <br /> shortness of breath or chest pain. <br /> Recommended precautions to protect your health include: <br /> • Stay indoors <br /> • Avoid vigorous activity <br /> • Close windows and doors in your home and keep the indoor air clean (avoid <br /> using candies, fireplaces, gas stoves, and vacuuming). <br /> • If you have an air conditioner, use the "recirculation" switch. <br /> • Use high-efficiency particulate air(HEPA) indoor air filter that does not produce <br /> ozone, to reduce indoor air pollution. <br /> • Avoid driving. If you must drive, keep windows closed and make sure the fan/AC <br /> system is set to recirculate the indoor air. <br /> • Schools, daycare providers, camps or sport groups should keep students indoors <br /> and keep activity levels light. <br /> • Check with your healthcare provider for specific questions or concerns. <br />