Smoke from this week’s devastating North Bay fires has been increasing today in the Bay Area, including around the Stanford campus.
As of early afternoon, the nearest official air monitoring station, in Redwood City, measured an Air Quality Index reading of 160 for particle pollution. This placed local air quality as measured by particle pollution in the “unhealthy” category, which is designated for Air Quality Index readings between 151 and 200. However, the Air Quality Index reading for ozone stood at 19, which is within the “good” range of 0 to 50.
The public health recommendations for “unhealthy” particle pollution category levels include:
For pulmonary-sensitive groups: Avoid prolonged or heavy exertion. Move activities indoors or reschedule to a time when the air quality is better.
All others: Reduce prolonged or heavy exertion. Take more breaks during all outdoor activities.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued a health advisory for the Bay Area, warning that “due to active wildfires and changing wind patterns, air quality could be impacted for many days to come. Outside of the active fire areas, air quality will be variable and unpredictable. Air quality may improve at times or get worse, very quickly.”
Please take care of your personal health, and that of your family, during this period. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District also is asking Bay Area residents to curtail activities that create additional air pollution, such as driving, wood burning, lawn mowing, leaf blowing and barbecuing.
Additional resources are available here:
Bay Area Air Quality Management District: http://www.baaqmd.gov
Explanation of Air Quality Index readings and health impacts: https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=aqibasics.aqi