When Do I Need to Use My N-95 Mask?

When Do I Need to Use My N-95 Mask? title=
When Do I Need to Use My N-95 Mask?
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(Photo: Direct Relief)

Update by the Public Health Department
December 20, 2017

Santa Barbara County residents should keep their N-95 masks on hand as air quality may continue to be affected by the Thomas Fire smoke or ash. Ash may continue to be blown into the air during periods of high winds during the next weeks or months. Residents should also protect themselves by using an N-95 mask while cleaning up ash.

The general public and those with health conditions affected by air quality do not need to wear an N-95 mask if the air quality index is “good”. The public and especially those with health conditions affected by smoke or ash are urged to continue to monitor air quality at www.ourair.org

N-95 masks are available for purchase locally or online and are available at no charge at the following sites December 18-23rd:

Site

Location

Distribution Days

Goleta Valley Community Center

5679 Hollister Avenue

Goleta

Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Saturday, December 23rd 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.

Goleta City Hall

130 Cremona Drive

Goleta

Monday –Thursday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

No Friday distribution

Santa Barbara Public Library

40 Anapamu Street,

Santa Barbara

Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Friday 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Carpinteria Library

5141 Carpinteria Ave

Carpinteria

Monday 10 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Saturday 10 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Buellton CVS

218 East Hwy 246, Buellton

Monday – Sunday 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.

(normal store hours)

The holiday distribution schedule for December 23 – January 3 is shown below:

Site

Location

Distribution Days

Goleta Valley Community Center

5679 Hollister Avenue

Goleta

Tuesday, December 26 – Sunday

December 31, 10:00 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Closed December 24 – December 25 and January 1

Buellton CVS

218 East Hwy 246, Buellton

Monday - Sunday 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.

(normal store hours) EXCEPT

Monday, December 25 – 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Over 300,000 N-95 masks have been distributed to communities in Santa Barbara County affected by unhealthy levels of smoke from the Thomas Fire. Mask distribution continues to be a collaborative effort of Direct Relief, the Santa Barbara Medical Reserve Corps, area Cities and CERT volunteers, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, and libraries.

Remember, N-95 masks require a tight seal to be effective. As a result, the available adult sized masks will provide only limited protection for most children. N-95 masks when fitted properly provide some protection from the fine particles in smoke. Ordinary dust masks and surgical masks do not provide this protection. Individuals with heart and lung conditions should consult their healthcare provider before using an N-95 mask.

Mask Directions

 

[Editor's Note: Previous updates have been removed]

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18 Comments

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420722 Dec 20, 2017 10:15 PM
When Do I Need to Use My N-95 Mask?

There was a big gust of wind today (well several actually) and there was so much dust in the air immediately. The ash is NOT gone just because it looks pretty out again. Gonna keep a mask handy for a while.

elderswimmer Dec 11, 2017 12:35 PM
When Do I Need to Use My N-95 Mask?

As usual Santa Maria is the unwanted stepchild. We had very poor air yesterday with visible ash drifting everywhere. All hardware stores are sold out. Marian Hospital does not have them. County health says they may give them out today (Monday) . Meantime despite my inhalers I am an eighty year old asthmatic who had two massive attacks last night. The sky is turning dark orange now. Not blaming elite - but wouldliketo survive this.

Roger Dec 14, 2017 10:31 AM
When Do I Need to Use My N-95 Mask?

I'm sorry Elder Swimmer I have asthma too it's hard to breath this ash I don't go out much because of my arthritis..What helps some with my asthma is Atavin aka lorzepam it helps calm my nerves when I'm having problems breathing if that is not available a regular paper bag helps some when I breath into it slowly...I have heard the smoke is rougher up there I would call Direct Relief International directly and see if someone working there lives in North County...

a-1542193313 Dec 11, 2017 08:39 AM
When Do I Need to Use My N-95 Mask?

Good advice to use a mask but let's be more calm. According to the California Department of Health and Human Services, ash deposited by forest/brush fires is relatively nontoxic and similar to ash found in fireplaces. Obviously it should be respected but it is not radioactive and poisonous per se. Too many people are running around frightened already.

a-1542193313 Dec 11, 2017 12:54 PM
When Do I Need to Use My N-95 Mask?

It's not the content of the ash that harms you. It's the particle size. The smaller particles are inhaled deeply into your lungs, where they adhere to the alveoli tissue, which gets irritated and calcifies. You end up with lungs that aren't able to expand any more, like in emphysema. It may take a while, but it's not a pleasant way to kick the bucket.

a-1542193313 Dec 11, 2017 08:16 AM
When Do I Need to Use My N-95 Mask?

I suspect that due to the distance from the fires the effects from smoke and ash is severely reduced. I don't doubt you are feeling the affects but those who are closer are feeling it a lot worse, elite privileges notwithstanding.

EastBeach Dec 09, 2017 11:41 AM
When Do I Need to Use My N-95 Mask?

Heavy ashfall in SB's east side right now. If the round N95 masks don't fit you well, try the rectangular masks with two straps. They open up like a bellows and I found they fit really well. Alpha Protech is the brand they handed out at my workplace. Think I saw them handed out at one of the tables @Costco.

Flicka Dec 08, 2017 01:50 PM
When Do I Need to Use My N-95 Mask?

I was getting out of my car Tuesday when a man stopped in the middle of the street and handed me a mask, the kind with a filter on it. I heard Albertsons in Carp had them yesterday, may be out now.

TWOSCOOPS Dec 08, 2017 12:20 PM
When Do I Need to Use My N-95 Mask?

Friday, today 8 Dec., at noon, we got two masks at Costco out front, easy parking, no line. Very efficient. Thank you, DRI, and Medical Reserve Corp! And, thank you Costco.

a-1542193313 Dec 07, 2017 11:16 PM
When Do I Need to Use My N-95 Mask?

Thanks Edhat for being the BEST source of news during fires and other emergencies. I just became a paid subscriber and encourage others to do the same (over 125K views just today! come on neighbors, step up and support this work by our fellow community members! Keep up the great work (and hope everyone at Edhat is safe and sound during this latest emergency (Thomas Fire)).

EastBeach Dec 07, 2017 11:03 PM
When Do I Need to Use My N-95 Mask?

Good job DRI (Direct Relief International)! They were out there distributing masks at Costco today. Please consider donating to them as part of your charity contributions. They're a very efficient organization with little overhead.

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