Brian Pugh: Stay Cool, Stay Safe

To The Editor:brian-pugh-group-cropped

The last Friday in May is recognized as “Heat Awareness Day” or “No FryDay.” On the eve of summer, it’s important to be aware of the health dangers of heat, prepare for excessive heat events and excessive heat waves and consider the special risks for children, pets or anyone with limited mobility.

For “Not FryDay,” the National Weather Service offers a comprehensive set of educational resources regarding heat related health and safety on its site:nws.noaa.gov/os/heat

The heat of late spring and the summer is also closely associated with Air Quality Action Days (“Ozone Alert” days). Air Quality Action Days are days when air quality is predicted to be in the unhealthy range for sensitive groups. Information about changes in air quality can be obtained by signing up for alerts via the US EPA’s Enviroflash service at enviroflash.info or checking the NYS New York State Air Quality Hotline: (800) 535-1345.

Moreover, we should be conscientious of the steps that we can take as a community to mitigate these heat-related emergencies: postponing unnecessary trips, taking transit or carpooling, refueling after dark to prevent pollutants that react with sunlight, air conditioning less and
not using gas-powered lawn mowers and avoiding the use of aerosol products and paints. As is often the case, protecting public health requires action by the public–both individually and communally.

Sincerely,

Brian Pugh

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