Unhealthy air in Puget Sound

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Do it yourself air filter
YouTube video
By Diane Hettrick

Wildfire smoke came down to the ground in most areas on Wednesday. It was clearly visible between the dark evergreens and obvious to the nose.

We're had worse and I hope we don't equal that or even come close to it again.

If you do have to go outside, the N95 masks will keep a lot of the particulate out of your nasal passages and lungs.

But just in case, here is some helpful advice for coping.

Wildfire smoke is continuing to move into the Seattle area. Air quality is now Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups in most areas and Unhealthy for everyone in some areas. 

While the forecast has smoke decreasing later this week, air quality may change frequently throughout the day, and may be different from location to location.

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 

Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is less likely to be affected. The following sensitive groups should especially take precautions: infants, children, and people over 65, or those who are pregnant, have heart or lung diseases (such as asthma or COPD), respiratory infections, diabetes, stroke survivors, or are suffering from COVID-19.


Some members of the general public may experience health effects; members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.

Avoid health effects from smoke by reducing time spent outdoors. 
  • Limit your physical activity outdoors (including running, biking, physical labor, and sports) when:The smoke level is “moderate” or worse if you have a health condition (like asthma, heart disease, diabetes, or a cold)
  • The smoke level is “unhealthy for sensitive groups” or worse if you are pregnant, over age 65, a child or an infant
  • The smoke level is “unhealthy for everyone.”
You can improve the air quality indoors with a simple DIY Box Fan Air Filter (WA Department of Ecology YouTube).

Check with your health care provider for more specific health questions and concerns about the effects of smoke. Seek medical attention if symptoms are serious.

Air quality monitors and information


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