Today at Berkeley Lab

Air Quality Update

Dear Lab Community,

Smoke from the fire in Butte County has continued to impact our air quality. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued an air quality advisory through Friday, Nov. 16.  The rating can change depending on the winds and the intensity of the fire. The Center for Disease Control has more information on the health impacts of wildfire smoke.

There are things we are doing at the Lab, and actions you can take, to minimize the health impacts of poor air quality. If you have any concerns about the air quality at your work location, talk with your supervisor about alternate work options. Please be aware that working off-site may or may not offer any relief from possible unhealthy air conditions.

What you can do

Sensitive groups: (those with a lung-related medical condition, such as asthma, emphysema or heart disease)

  • Follow your personal doctor’s directions, and seek care in a timely manner if you have symptoms or concerns.
  • Avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.
  • Consider moving activities indoors or rescheduling them.

All employees:

  • Reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.
  • Take more breaks during outdoor activities.
  • If you have any symptoms that you have concerns for such as headaches or light-headedness, you are welcome to come to Health Services, Building 26, for a consultation.
  • The California Department of Public Health has more information on the voluntary use of masks for personal preference. Possible risks are more information can be found here:

Managers and Supervisors:

  • Limit employees’ outside activities.
  • Keep building windows closed.
  • Just as we do with our current telecommuting program, please consider remote work for your employees as needed.

Lab actions:

  • Where possible, the amount of outside air being delivered to our buildings is being reduced.
  • We will continue to monitor this situation and update the Lab community as substantive developments occur.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Michael Brandt