Wildfire smoke can be harmful to your health, especially if you’re directly near an active wildfire or live in the same area as wildfires often occur. If you suspect you may be exposed to wildfire smoke, it’s important to stay informed about the air quality around you and take precautions to ensure your safety. In order to keep your lungs as protected as possible from harmful pollutants in wildfire smoke, it’s recommended that you wear an effective mask while spending time outdoors when wildfire smoke levels are high.
Health Issues of Wildfire Smoke
Red eyes, itchy throat, burning nose and coughing are all symptoms of exposure to wildfire smoke. According to CNN Health, If you’re exposed for too long or too often, it can lead to serious problems like lung inflammation or even cancer. It also aggravates existing medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease. You should be especially cautious when exercising outdoors in smoky air; your lungs will have trouble taking in oxygen through even small amounts of exposure. Ozone is another substance that comes from wildfires and has been linked with increased incidence of asthma attacks and other respiratory complications. Consider wearing a mask if you go outdoors on days when there are active fires nearby; you can find masks online if you don’t want to go outside.
Will a face mask protect me from wildfire smoke?
Face masks don’t filter out all types of smoke. Although most face masks sold in North America protect against dust, wood chips, and other small particles, they do not effectively filter out larger pollutants like wildfire smoke. If you’re going to be near a wildfire, it’s best to leave. But if that’s not an option for you or your family, you should consider wearing an appropriate respirator for protection. A N95-rated mask is likely your best bet; however, it may not be effective at filtering out all particulate matter.
What face mask should I get?
There are two different kinds of masks you might want if you find yourself in an area affected by wildfire smoke: ones that protect against particulate matter (PM), and ones that protect against chemicals. PM masks will have a tight fit and filter out smaller particles, like ash and dust; chemical masks will have a loose-fitting seal around your mouth and nose, protecting against gases like formaldehyde and carbon monoxide. No matter which type of mask you’re looking for, be sure it has a tight fit over your mouth and nose—if it doesn’t seal well around your face, it won’t do its job. If possible, choose a respirator rated at N-95 or higher. We collect 3 N95 masks below with high rating.
Benehal 6215 N95 Mask NIOSH Approved
Shining Star SS9001-N95 Mask NIOSH Approved
YICHITA YQD8008 N95 Mask NIOSH APPROVED
How To Choose The Best Face Mask for Wild Fires?
In case of a wildfire, you’ll want to be protected by a reliable face mask. With wildfire season approaching, now is a good time to get prepared. Fit, safe and comfortable are the 3 factors you should consider when deciding the masks to wear. Additionally, be sure the masks you will get are still valid. Usually, the shelf life for N95 masks is 2 or 3 years.
How do I use a face mask?
- Wearing a face mask is generally a good idea if you’re going to be outdoors when wildfire smoke is blowing through your city.
- Place the mask over your nose and under your chin, with one strap placed below the ears and one strap above.
- Adjust the mask so that air cannot get through at the edges. Any leakage around the edges of the mask allows unfiltered air to enter.
- Pinch the metal part of the mask tightly over the top of your nose.
- Follow instructions on the package to check for a tight face seal.
- Masks fit best on clean-shaven skin. Masks do not work for people with beards because they will not seal.
- Masks are not approved for children.
- Throw away your mask when breathing through it gets difficult, if it is damaged, or if the inside gets dirty.
- It is harder to breathe through a mask, so take breaks often if you work outside.
- If you feel dizzy or sick go to a less smoky area, take off your mask, and get medical help if you do not feel better.