Update on Air Quality

Stanford is continuing to monitor local air quality as a result of the tragic North Bay wildfires this week.

Local air quality is expected to continue to vary based on meteorological conditions. The current Bay Area Air Quality Management District forecast suggests improved air quality tomorrow and through the weekend, but the situation is changeable.

Everyone in the campus community is encouraged to take common-sense steps to provide for their health, including drinking plenty of water and limiting strenuous outdoor activity when smoke is present. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise that older adults, children, and those with respiratory or cardiac conditions can be particularly vulnerable to the effects of poor air quality and should limit exposure to outdoor air.

Stanford students with pre-existing respiratory or cardiac conditions should check with Vaden Health Center if they experience any distress symptoms. Children in day care centers should have minimal outdoor activity during this period, and parents of children with pre-existing respiratory or cardiac conditions should follow the advice of their health care providers about the prevention and treatment of symptoms.

For Stanford employees, if you are unable to come to work or have concerns about your individual situation, please speak with your supervisor or human resources representative. While university operations are continuing, supervisors should provide flexibility, including alternate work arrangements or leave time if necessary, to support the health of employees. For personnel working indoors, remain indoors as much as possible during the work day. Personnel with outdoor work assignments should limit severe exertion and take more frequent breaks – indoors, if possible. Anyone experiencing health issues related to air quality should notify their supervisor or contact the Stanford EH&S Occupational Health Center.

This weekend’s Reunion Homecoming activities are proceeding. As with the campus community as a whole, Reunion Homecoming guests will be encouraged to take precautionary measures if they have health conditions that make them particularly vulnerable to smoky air.

Stanford Athletics is actively monitoring the Air Quality Index and is prepared to take the appropriate steps to protect student-athletes and fans, in accordance with Pac-12 and NCAA guidelines. At this time, all athletics competitions this weekend are expected to be played as originally scheduled. Stanford Athletics continues to evaluate the situation and will provide updates on this web page: http://www.gostanford.com/news/2017/10/12/athletics-air-quality-notice.aspx.

The university has received some questions about the use of masks. The university is not distributing masks generally for wildfire smoke abatement. Anyone with a health condition that may be exacerbated by smoke exposure should consult with their medical care provider for advice.

Further updates will be provided at http://emergency.stanford.edu, and more information about the university’s response to the North Bay fires is available at https://news.stanford.edu/2017/10/11/north-bay-fires/.

Our thoughts continue to be with the many thousands of people in the North Bay who have been most directly impacted by these fires.

Additional resources:

For more information on Bay Area air quality levels, visit the Bay Area Air Quality Management District website: http://www.baaqmd.gov

For more information on reducing the health effects of wildfire smoke, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at https://www.cdc.gov/features/wildfires/index.html.

The Stanford EH&S Occupational Health Center website is https://ehs.stanford.edu/about-us/occupational-health-center.

Employee and Labor Relations may be contacted at stanfordelr@stanford.edu.