thick wildfire smoke in neighborhood from forest fires

The Best Air Purifier for Wildfire Smoke is Here

As wildfire season starts again, so do the harrowing consequences of wildfire smoke. However, as global warming continues to heat our planet at a faster rate, wildfire smoke is no longer an issue only for the west coast - as the summer of 2021 has shown us, every part of the US must be ready to face this health concern now. There are ways to handle this new health risk head-on: by being informed, staying prepared, and protecting yourself in the most effective ways possible.

This blog article will help you with all of those things, so sit back, relax, and get comfortable - we’re about to tell you the most important health concerns to know about, how to protect yourself and your family by using practical means, and finding the best air purifiers for wildfire smoke. We can’t protect you completely from the dangers of smoke, but we can tell you how you can protect yourself.

Before we begin, let’s talk about health risks. The California wildfire smoke (and Seattle wildfire smoke) that has made its rounds in the US is thick, dense, and dangerous.

That last part is not often discussed, because many people think wildfire smoke is only a mild irritant. That’s why this blog is here to shed some light on the very real health risks that can come with not taking this air quality issue seriously. 

Wildfire Smoke Health Effects

There are a lot of questions and theories making headway on the internet regarding wildfire smoke and its consequences. Here is a compiled list of frequently asked questions regarding this environmental health problem that will help you stay informed and protect yourself.

 

wildfire smoke covering town from forest fires

Is Smoke from the West Coast Fires reaching East Coast Land? 

Yes. The wildfire smoke has made its way across the United States and is affecting places as far as Pennsylvania. However, just because the east coast wildfire smoke has gone a long distance does not make it less dangerous. It’s still important to protect yourself, even in the utmost regions of the northeast. 

Is Smoke Fire Bad For You? 

Yes. Despite the fact that smoke from wildfires smells good to most, it is quite bad for your lungs. This kind of smoke is made up of gases and fine particles that are produced when organic materials (like wood) are burned. If these particles enter your lungs, they can be extremely harmful. 

How Does Wildfire Smoke Affect Your Body? 

Nothing about this smoke is good for our bodies, particularly our lungs. However, it is the particles within wildfire smoke that predominantly affect our bodies. If these fine particles get into your lungs, they can penetrate them and cause a variety of health issues - from burning eyes and runny noses to aggravated chronic heart and lung diseases, and if exposed enough to this particle pollution, premature death. 

Can Smoky Air Make You Sick? 

Yes. Wildfire smoke inhalation symptoms are wide and can range from the following: 

  • Coughing
  • Runny Nose
  • Breathing Issues
  • Irritated Sinuses
  • Wheezing
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Chest Pain
  • Stinging Eyes
  • Scratchy Throat
  • Fast Heartbeat 

These are just some of the kinds of sickness you can get from inhaling this smoke right away. These effects can be felt immediately, or be felt weeks later. Prolonged exposure can lead to much more serious illnesses that can affect your heart, lungs, and vision. 

Who is the Most At-Risk? 

The most at-risk groups for wildfire smoke exposure are challenged with being extra-sensitive to the damages that this smoke can bring. Those with heart or lung conditions, older or elderly adults, children and young teens, those suffering from diabetes, and pregnant women are among the groups of people who should be extra cautious to avoid serious damage to their bodies. 

Now that we’ve covered the dangers, let’s move to the even more important part of this issue: protecting yourself and others!

How Do You Protect Your Lungs from Wildfire Smoke

  1. Stay inside. Keep your doors and windows closed at all times to ensure the smoke doesn’t infiltrate your home. This may seem tedious, but it is worth it. 
  2. Seek alternate shelter. If you do not have an air conditioner or it is too warm to stay inside with the windows closed, stay with a friend or family member who has access to air conditioning. If you don’t have that, we recommend seeking shelter in a store or building for as long as you can. 
  3. Avoid indoor air pollution. Don’t light any candles, burn gas or propane, use woodburning stoves, light fireplaces, or use aerosol sprays inside. It’s also imperative not to broil meat, smoke tobacco products, or vacuum indoors - all of these can cause increased indoor air pollution. 
  4. Create a “clean room” in your home. This room should have as few windows as possible, like a bedroom. Make sure you let in as little outside air as possible.
  5. Buy an air purifier and an air filter for wildfire smoke. If you don’t know how these work, here is some basic knowledge to keep you more informed:

How Do You Purify Air from Wildfire Smoke

Using an air purifier is the best way to keep the air inside your home clean and free of fine particles and smoke. The dense filtration system within these machines helps keep the air completely filtered and fresh by allowing air to flow through it. Most importantly, air purifiers don’t use up too much electricity! Just plug them in and go.  

Does a Humidifier Help with Wildfire Smoke? 

Yes, a little. They are not as useful as air purifiers, but they can provide a little assistance by keeping your nose and mouth moist and blowing out moist air. Ideally, you should have both a humidifier and an air purifier to keep you safe. 

What is the Best Air Filter for Wildfire Smoke?

Finding the right wildfire smoke air purifier can be difficult, especially with different sized rooms. That is why we recommend this medical grade air purifier that is comprehensive and includes high-grade air filters. This is one of the best air filters for wildfire smoke, especially if you live in an area where it is particularly dense. If you need replacement air filters, you can find them here. 

For other filter and purifier options, we recommend checking out our website! 

Wildfires are extremely dangerous, and the smoke that comes with them is more dangerous than most people care to realize. That’s why it is pivotal to stay informed about the dangers, let others know, and protect yourself. As global warming continues to create new and frightening weather patterns, we hope that articles like these can help those who need it stay safe from danger. 


Contributing Writer: Aurora Detor

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