Stanford University

Wildfire Smoke Affecting Bay Area Air Quality

Dear Stanford Community,

Environmental Health and Safety is continuing to monitor local air quality levels, to assess and predict the potential impact on personnel and operations. As of right now, we will continue to operate with no changes to schedule or outdoor duties. However, depending on how conditions develop, wildfire smoke may affect local ambient air quality both indoors and outdoors, including possible smoke odors. 

At this time, members of the Stanford community are encouraged to take the following common-sense steps for their personal health and comfort:

  • Limit strenuous outdoor activity where possible.
  • For more susceptible populations including older adults, children, and those with pulmonary/respiratory conditions, minimize time spent outdoors.
  • When indoors, keep windows and doors closed.
  • In vehicles, use air-recirculation mode.
  • Drink plenty of water to help minimize potential irritation.

For individuals who may experience personal health issues during this smoke event, please consult with one’s primary healthcare provider.

For supervisors whose employees work outdoors for one hour or more per work shift (or indoors without air filtration) during a wildfire smoke event:  

  1. Check the current Local NowCast AQI readings, before and periodically during the workday, AND
  2. If the NowCast AQI is 151 or more:
    1. Provide wildfire smoke awareness training to affected employees
    2. Alert Employees that the AQI has reached an unhealthy level and instruct them on specific protective measures they must take.
    3. Encourage employees, without fear of reprisal, to report back when the air quality is getting worse, or if they are suffering from any symptoms due to air quality.
    4. Offer voluntary N95 respirators, and encourage their safe use.

For more information regarding wildfire smoke, please visit the EH&S wildfire safety page.

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