With wildfire smoke covering large parts of the country this week, we’re highlighting ways that people with asthma can reduce their exposure. Recognizing that wildfire smoke – a complex mixture of air pollutants – is unhealthy to breathe and can be especially dangerous for people with asthma, we are committed to helping asthma stakeholders prepare for wildfire smoke events, which are becoming increasingly common in California and elsewhere.
To that end, we have created a variety of tools, including:
- Wildfire Smoke: Air Cleaners for Asthma Programs: Air cleaners, also known as air purifiers, are an important tool for reducing wildfire smoke exposure and improving indoor air quality. But they are not all safe, effective, and affordable. Partnering with PHI’s Dr. Gina Solomon, with support from The Rose Foundation for Community Empowerment, we developed tools to help asthma programs select air cleaners for their clients with asthma. Coupled with videos on how to use and maintain air cleaners along with educational materials in six languages, asthma programs can now help their clients reduce the harmful impacts of wildfire smoke.
- Asthma, Smoke, and Air Purifiers: With input from Community Health Workers across California, we developed this one-page fact sheet to educate community residents. It’s available in Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.
- Helping Clients with Asthma Prepare for Wildfire Smoke Events: Tips for Asthma Educators: We developed this tool for asthma educators to help their clients create clean indoor air spaces at home, reduce exposure if they must be outside, and stay safe from extreme heat during wildfire smoke events.
- Protecting Kids from Wildfire Smoke — Actions for Schools: This tool, highlighting recommendations for schools to address wildfire smoke, was produced by the Action Lab for Planetary Health at the Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health and highlights research conducted at the Stanford Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy & Asthma Research. Tool development was supported by many organizations, including RAMP.
You can also check out our Other Resources for tools developed by our partners, including the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Western States Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units, and the American Lung Association.
- Children’s Health and Wildfire Smoke Exposure: Workshop Recommendations is a collection of evidence-based information to provide guidance to public health officials in decision-making and developing educational materials concerning children’s health and wildfire smoke. The chapters were drafted by multi-stakeholder workgroups spearheaded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in close collaboration with tribal, federal, state, and local officials, health care professionals, and other nongovernmental organizations, academics, industry, and Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSUs) representatives. Published in January 2022.
- The Western States Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units put together a number of resources on its website, including information in both English and Spanish.
- The EPA’s publication, “Wildfire Smoke: A Guide for Public Health Officials,” was updated in 2019.
- The EPA has a training module called “Wildfire Smoke and Your Patients’ Health.” This course is intended for physicians, registered nurses, asthma educators and others involved in clinical or health education.
- In the fall of 2019, University of California Berkeley published, “Health, Wildfires & Climate Change in California: Recommendations for Action.”
- The American Lung Association has a number of resources available including a “Protect Your Health During Wildfires” factsheet in both English and Spanish.
Please share these resources widely.