Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pasadena imparts info on dealing with poor air quality and hot weather


With smoky conditions and temperatures approaching triple digits for the rest of the week, the Pasadena Fire Department and Pasadena Public Health Department remind everyone to take care of themselves, their children and their pets.

“Due to the Morris Fire near Azusa and resulting poor air quality in Pasadena, elderly residents and other sensitive individuals, including adults and children with heart disease, emphysema, asthma, or other lung diseases, should stay indoors as much as possible,” said Dr. Takashi Wada, Pasadena public health officer. “As a precaution, in areas of visible smoke or an odor of smoke, all individuals are urged to avoid unnecessary outdoor activities.”

Schools that are in session should suspend all outdoor physical activities including physical education and after-school sports until conditions improve.

Non-school related sports organizations for children (such as Little League) and adults are advised to cancel outdoor practices in areas where there is visible smoke, soot or ash, or where there is an odor of smoke. This also applies to other recreational outdoor activities such as hikes and picnics.

Air conditioners in vehicles should be set on recycle or recirculate mode to avoid drawing in smoky air.

Closing up a home by shutting windows and doors can give protection from smoke. This is recommended only if the home has air conditioning designed by default to recirculate indoor air; otherwise fans are recommended.

The air quality, combined with excessive heat, can cause heat stroke, exhaustion, heat cramps and dehydration. Insufficient water or salt intake may lead to a deficiency in the production of sweat, which may cause heat exhaustion. Symptoms include dizziness, fatigue, faintness, headaches, pale and clammy skin, rapid and weak pulse, fast and shallow breathing, muscle cramps and intense thirst. Anyone with these symptoms should be removed to a cooler, shaded location and given fluids such as water or sports drinks.

“Anyone experiencing diminished judgment, disorientation, pale and clammy skin, rapid and weak pulse and/or fast and shallow breathing should receive immediate attention,” said Fire Chief Dennis Downs.

There are several ways to manage the heat:

* Wear light, loose-fitting clothing.

* Drink fluids often; don’t wait until you are thirsty.

* Offer assistance to shut-ins in your neighborhood and check on them frequently during hot weather.

* During peak heat hours, stay in an air-conditioned area. If you don’t have access to air conditioning in your home, visit public facilities such as shopping malls, community centers and libraries to stay cool or find a list of cooling stations at

* Avoid unnecessary exposure to the sun. Wear a hat, preferably with a wide brim, when out in the sunlight.

* Use the buddy system: Check in regularly with those you know who are senior citizens, ill or with compromised immune systems to make sure they are staying cool and drinking fluids.

* Never leave children, seniors or pets unattended in closed cars or other vehicles.

For more information, call Pasadena Fire Department at (626) 744-4675 or Pasadena Public Health Department at (626) 744-6005. Visit for more specific emergency preparedness information.

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Ann Erdman
Public Information Officer
City of Pasadena
Public Affairs Office
(626) 744-4755


pasadenapio said...

Thanks for helping me spread the word.

Natalie DeJohn said...

Thanks for the info. The air is so gross outside! I love your blog by the way.

Mickie said...

You're both welcome. I suffer from asthma so I understand how important it is to get this info out.

Ann~ anything to help you :-)

Natalie~ I hope you'll visit again for happier reads.

Hoping for healthier days,