As smoke continues to blanket central Oregon communities from wildfires throughout Oregon and northern California we are offering a few quick tips on how to create a cleaner air environment until air quality returns to healthy levels.
First of all, a reminder that cloth, dust and surgical masks don’t protect from the harmful particles in smoke. N95 or P100 respirators approved by NIOSH may offer protection, but they must be properly fitted and worn. They won’t work for everyone, especially children. People with heart or lung conditions should consult their doctor before wearing a respirator. With that in mind what does a property fitted and worn N95 or P100 mask really mean? Take a look at this video to find out:
When you are at home you can improve your air quality with this simple, low cost solution, combining a furnace filter rated MERV-13 or higher and a box fan:
There are several other methods of combining multiple air filters with a box fan as well. In addition, the Oregon Health Authority provides a fact sheet on these do it yourself air filters you should be sure to read.
A longer term solution for not only this smoke season, but for future smoke seasons to come would be a portable air cleaner for your home. Here is a staring point to research air cleaners: https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/list-carb-certified-air-cleaning-devices
And, while this video was recorded just after the Memorial Day fires of 2020, it is just as relevant as if it were recorded today:
For more tips on wildfire smoke check out: https://www.deschutes.org/health/page/health-tips-wildfire-smoke or our page on smoke and your health.