DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The American Lung Association is offering tips to those impacted by the toxic smoke from the Richmond, Indiana industrial fire.
Officials say that Ohio communities where wind blew smoke across the state border should take precautions.
As the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Indiana health officials test air quality, officials are advising nearby residents to follow guidance from on-site emergency personnel, which includes the standing evacuation order.
Those who live downwind of the fire are advised to keep pets inside and windows closed.
In addition, officials say not to rely on masks, because even masks with HEPA filters or N-95 masks may not filter out all damaging particles.
Smoke from the fire can cause an increase in particle pollution in the area. Particle pollution, often referred to as PM or soot, refers to a mix of tiny solid and liquid particles that are in the air we breathe and can cause a variety of health harms.
People living with certain medical conditions such as asthma, COPD or cardiovascular disease may be at higher risk for health effects. Specifically, people with asthma or COPD should follow their asthma action plan or COPD action plan developed with their healthcare provider and report any worsening of symptoms promptly.
Living with any chronic lung disease may put you at risk for new or worsening respiratory symptoms and it is important to avoid exposure whenever possible and pay close attention to your symptoms.
In addition, the harmful chemicals or gases that escape into the air when an industrial accident like this occurs can be harmful or possibly fatal to nearby individuals—which is why it is so critical that evacuation orders be promptly followed.
Stay aware for symptoms including shortness of breath. If you feel any symptoms, seek emergency help.
The American Lung Association’s Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) is staffed by nurses and respiratory therapists and is a free resource to answer any questions about the lungs, lung disease and lung health, including how to protect your lungs during emergency situations.