How can I protect myself against smog?

You may think that there is nothing you can do about the air you breathe. However, there are easy ways to protect yourself against smog and air pollution.

How to protect yourself:

  • Be aware. Listen to smog forecasts and consider ways to modify daily activities accordingly (e.g., carpool, take transit, work from home, group errands together). Check the Air Quality Health Index in your community, remembering that "smog season" is generally from May to September.
  • Limit your exposure. On days when ozone levels are high, you have a greater likelihood of being harmed by smog if you stay outdoors for longer periods and if you perform strenuous activity.
  • Avoid using gas-powered engines, pesticides, and oil-based paints. These all contribute to lower air quality.
  • Stay hydrated. Hot temperature and high humidity often correspond with high smog levels. This makes it important to stay in the shade and drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated, especially before, during, and after exercise.
  • Consider exercising indoors in a smoke-free, air-conditioned environment. Avoid exercise outdoors, especially from mid-morning to early evening, when smog levels are higher.
  • Drive less. Carpool, ride a bike, walk, or use transit. If we all do our part, we can improve the air quality for everyone.
  • Protect those at higher risk of health problems. Pay special attention to children, seniors, those with lung problems (such as people with asthma), those with heart problems, and those who work outdoors.

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