Friday, July 13, 2012

Wildfire smoke: How to minimize risks

Chemicals and gases as well as
particles released by wildfires can
affect your health and well-being.
Raging wildfires present a public health concern because they can affect the air quality in regions near and far away.

Wildfires release gases and fine particles into the air, which can travel long distances and affect people’s health and well-being.

Those exposed to wildfire smoke have complained of irritated eyes and lungs as well as aggravated chronic diseases such as asthma.

ERs and clinics see an influx of people when there is a wildfire nearby or in range, studies show.

And the problems may only get worse over time, with experts predicting a rise in wildfires due to climate change.

A common recommendation is to stay indoors in order to avoid exposure, but this is when the indoor air quality starts to play a very important role.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has put together a few tips for people residing near wildfire zones:
  1. Regularly check the local air quality reports to time your outdoor activities and gauge possible levels of exposure.
  2. Protect your indoor air quality as much as possible by keeping windows and doors closed.
  3. Don’t add pollutants to your indoor air by burning candles, smoking or using fireplaces or gas stoves. Other possible sources of indoor air contaminants include harsh cleaning products and personal care products.
  4. Consult a doctor or healthcare professional to get advice and information about breathing problems (and how to avoid them).
  5. Get the right information and protective materials. Paper masks that are commonly sold at hardware stores are made for bigger particles and dust and won’t offer much protection from the fine particles and chemicals contained in wildfire smoke.
Source: US News Health

Air purifiers for wildfire smoke

The gases and fine particles in wildfire smoke can easily invade private homes and offices and affect the indoor air quality.

Most air purifiers are ill-equipped to handle wildfire-related pollutants because they often only feature a HEPA filter. The HEPA will be able to remove the fine particulate matter, but it cannot filter out the gases and chemicals released by the smoke.

Chemicals, gases and odors are best removed by a deep-bed activated carbon filter.

AllerAir air purifiers consistently feature the most relevant filtration of activated carbon and HEPA at the best price (ask about our guarantee) and the air purifiers for tobacco smoke and wildfire smoke are equipped with other special features to ensure cleaner and healthier indoor air.

Contact AllerAir for more information.

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