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Tips for Living With Airborne Pollution

June 29, 1998

Outdoor air pollution is impossible to avoid completely, but there are some ways you can make its overall impact less severe. Listed here are some tips from the American Assn. for Respiratory Care that will help you decrease your exposure to outdoor pollution.

Avoid exposure to toxic fumes:

* If you work on your car in the garage, make sure the garage door is completely open.

* Don't allow exhaust fumes to enter your house.

* Dispose of chemical-saturated rags in a sealed container.

* Replace lids on solvent containers securely.

* Minimize your use of strong chemicals; when you must use them, consider wearing a mask to minimize inhalation of the fumes.

Stay updated on pollution reports:

* You might want to wear a mask, especially when mowing, raking leaves, or working in your garden.

* Be aware of mold and pollen counts before going outside.

* Go out in the early morning, as opposed to the afternoon, to limit your exposure to the irritants in the atmosphere.

Be familiar with Environmental Protection Agency guidelines for cities with more serious pollution problems:

* Stage I alert: Conditions could worsen and become hazardous.

* Stage II alert: Stay indoors; depending on your sensitivity, you might be able to go outside for a short time, but limit your activities.

* Stage III alert: It is not safe for you to go outside at all; be sure to clean the filter in your air conditioner often.

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