Public Health hazards are events that could negatively affect the health of a community. Bothell is at risk of infectious diseases, hazardous materials, and poor air and water quality.
Infectious diseases such as Influenza and Covid-19 can spread quickly through communities and can be dangerous for certain populations. To slow the spread of germs:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water.
- Cover your mouth with your elbow when you sneeze or cough.
- Do not share drinks or utensils.
- Follow masking recommendations from local public health agencies.
It is very important to get vaccinated and make sure your children are up-to-date on necessary vaccinations. If you do not feel well, especially if you have a fever, stay home from work or social events. The same applies to children, if your child is sick then they should not go to school. These actions can slow the spread of infectious diseases.
Infectious Diseases Resources
Air quality is the measure of the amount of pollutants in the air. We use the Air Quality Index to measure air quality and the scale runs from 0 to 500. There are six levels of concern for air quality the lowest is good which means the air quality is safe for all groups to hazardous which is the air quality is dangerous for all populations. There are five major air pollutants ground-level ozone, particle pollution such as ash particles from wildfires, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide.
When air quality is bad:
- Limit time outdoors.
- Keep windows shut.
- Wear mask when outdoors.
- Check your homes air filters. Replace if necessary.
We are also affected by indoor air quality which can be influenced by tobacco products, mold and moisture, asbestos, and household cleaning products.
Air Quality Resources
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Air Topics
- Washington Smoke Information
- Indoor Air Quality
- Puget Sound Clean Air Agency
Hazardous materials are substances that pose a risk to health, physical, or environmental safety. That's why it is so important to practice safe habits when handling these materials. Common hazardous materials that you may come in contact with in daily life are cleaning products, batteries, pesticides and herbicides, and vehicle chemicals like antifreeze.
When storing hazardous materials in your home ensure they are kept out of reach of children and pets. These materials are usually toxic and can cause serious harm or possibly death when consumed. Take great care when handling hazardous materials make sure to wear protective equipment and wash you hands when finished using the substance. This will prevent hazardous materials from harming you.
Never pour any chemicals or hazardous materials down your sink or storm drain! Improper disposal of hazardous materials can negatively affect natural resources and the health of our community. There are locations where you can safely dispose of hazardous materials.
The disposal of medications is essential to prevent overdoses, poisonings, and reducing toxins in water and soil. You can learn more about safely disposing of medications here.
Hazardous Materials Resources
High quality, clean water is critical to maintaining a healthy community. Sometimes an emergency may occur that impacts water quality. A boil water order may be necessary to protect residents and businesses. To be notified when there is an issue with City drinking water, sign up for ALERT King County.
To prevent drinking contaminated water, bring water to rolling boil for 1 minute and let it cool. You can store it in your refrigerator in a clean container. If you are able to, you can also purchase bottled water to avoid drinking tap water.
When a boil water order is lifted, flush your plumbing by running your cold water facets on full for at least 5 minutes. If you have a multiple level residence, run your facets upstairs before lower levels. Dispose of all ice. If you have an ice maker, let the machine make 3 batches of ice before you consume any ice cubes.
Another water quality hazard to be aware of is contaminated public waterways. Impacts to waterways from seasonal algae and storm runoff may lead to restricted recreation. Always be aware of public health recommendations before recreating in local waterways. Follow all posted guidance to reduce health risks to your family and pets. Never swim in or ingest water with known hazards present.