MDHHS Tips to Stay Healthy in Poor Air Quality

With the 2024 North American wildfire season underway and warmer weather increasing ozone levels, residents are being advised by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) on how to stay healthy during poor air quality days.

Key Tips for Staying Healthy

  • Monitoring the Air Quality Index (AQI): The AQI should be checked regularly on the AirNow website. Higher values indicate more pollutants, thus protective measures should be taken.
  • Signing Up for Alerts: Air quality alerts can be received via email or text by using the EnviroFlash system.

Preparation Steps

  • HVAC Systems: The fresh air intake or outdoor air damper of HVAC systems should be closed during smoke events.
  • Air Filters: MERV-13 or higher-rated air filters should be kept on hand.
  • Portable Air Cleaners: Purchasing or making a DIY air filter should be considered.
  • Health Plans: For those with respiratory or other health conditions, a plan should be made with a healthcare provider.
  • Special Groups: Extra precautions should be taken for children, pregnant individuals, outdoor workers, and seniors.

Actions During Poor Air Quality Days

  • Limiting Outdoor Activities: Time and intensity of outdoor activities should be reduced.
  • Adjusting Timing: Outdoor activities should be scheduled for times when ozone levels are lower, typically in the morning or evening.
  • Avoiding Indoor Pollutants: Activities such as smoking, using gas/wood stoves, and burning candles or incense should be avoided.
  • Creating a Clean Air Room: If home conditions are unsuitable, shelter should be sought elsewhere. Michigan 211 can be contacted for cooling center information.

For more detailed guidance, the MDHHS Health and Wildfire webpage should be visited. Staying informed and taking proactive steps are crucial for protecting health during periods of poor air quality.

    Scroll to Top
    Skip to content