Protection Against Wildfire Smoke
Protect Yourself from Wildfire Smoke
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (www.epa.gov), “While not everyone has the same sensitivity to wildfire smoke, it’s still a good idea to avoid breathing smoke if you can help it. And when smoke is heavy, such as can occur in close proximity to a wildfire, it’s bad for everyone.
- Smoke is made up of a complex mixture of gases and fine particles produced when wood and other organic materials burn. The biggest health threat from smoke is from fine particles. These microscopic particles can penetrate deep into your lungs. They can cause a range of health problems, from burning eyes and a runny nose to aggravated chronic heart and lung diseases. Exposure to particle pollution is even linked to premature death.”
The EPA and CDC further note that bandanas or dust or surgical masks are NOT ENOUGH in protecting against particulate pollution and suggest using a proper fitting respirator such as a N95 mask.
Both the EPA and CDC recommend:
- Staying indoors during times of wildfire smoke
- If you cannot avoid going outdoors then you should wear a N95 particulate mask (or equivalent) respirator to help filter out the fine particles.
In ideal times, all Americans would be able to purchase a N95 respirator, however, given the current pandemic and the need to conserve these N95s for healthcare/frontline personnel, the FDA has issued an Emergency Use Authorization for certain manufacturers of KN95s.
(Appendix A: Non-NIOSH approved Respirators manufactured in China. Link: https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-emergency-use-authorizations-medical-devices/personal-protective-equipment-euas#appendixa).
Our KN95 respirator masks labelled “FDA Approved” are considered a suitable equivalent to N95s and the lab reports demonstrate their filtration efficiency at a level equivalent to (or better than) the filtration efficiency of N95s.