Tacoma Pierce County Health Department - https://www.tpchd.org/ (supposedly they are there to promote health – but their support for fluoride in our water supply does put that in question – fluoridation being so clearly a Soviet plot to undermine American Health. Hard to know who to trust. Usually the health department gives me clear instructions on what to include in the minutes – I suspect comments like these are why. But not so this time – so we’re going freestyle.-ed)
- Judy Olsen, Environmental Health Supervisor - JOlsen@tpchd.org
- Here to talk about heat and poor air quality typical during the summer. - https://www.tpchd.org/healthy-homes/outdoor-air-quality/wildfire-smoke
- One option is an N95 mask – I brought some - try one on. (brings back memories of house remodel projects – thanks for that, Judy. –ed)
- 5 of us at the Health Department cover air quality, lead poisoning, and more
- working on efforts for developing a healthy housing code. Will come back to talk about that.
- Wildfire smoke – want to have smoke ready communities – sign up for text alerts by texting “wildfires” to 313131. (I just did it – I feel so prepared now)
- Lots of folks asking why we don’t provide masks to folks experiencing homelessness. After trying to breathe through one, do you think people will want that? Respiratory and heart disease patients struggle with masks. We recommend not using masks but finding locations with adequate air filtration on days with poor air quality.
- Invite me to come look at your air filtration system, if you’re not sure if there is more you can do.
- I am showing a $20 box fan with an inexpensive filter (see fan photo). Pretty easy to make – I have handout on how to make them. You can run it for about 20 minutes, and if you keep everything closed up, it will keep the air clean for 4 to 8 hours. We don’t’ want them running all the time – they are not designed to have a filter taped to them. There is a concern the motor would be overheated and possibly start a fire. They need to be watched like a candle or a pot on the stove (unless you have the pot on the stove to boil water – then you might need to look away so it will actually boil.-ed)
- You want a filter with a Maximum Efficiency Rating Value (MERV) of 13 or higher in your house, building, or attached to a fan .
- How many of you have the masks on now would want to wear them during a smoke event? Didn’t think so. Does anyone think they have clients that would want them? Carolyn – it would be a nice option at shelter. Judy – we don’t want to give a false sense of security.
- We can come to you elsewhere to present on wildfires and whatnot.
- Jeremy – I wear masks when there are wildfires. I’d think folks experiencing homelessness might want them.
- People that struggle to breath may struggle with a mask, but they are also impacted by the smoke. It is a balancing act. Happy to try and get you some smoke filters. The State Department has many that are expired that work well for wildfire smoke. I have hundreds available. Have the smoke ones available, too, but they will take time to get.
- Nate – we routinely work with parents with a car – what is a recommendation for folks in cars – thoughts? Judy - We suggest they get to a safe air location during the day time ours – cooling centers, libraries. For those can’t control the environment they sleep in.
- Questions - Do you reach out to pediatricians? Judy – yes, we provide information, and in events, we send out info. Grab my business card and I’ll add you to the list.
- We do have drop in Centers