AchooAllergy.com Blog
Californians Face Polluted Air from Wildfires
Posted by Craig on Tuesday, October 30, 2007
California Fires Produce Air PollutionThe wildfires in Southen California may be retreating, but they've left behind high levels of airborne particulate matter and a strong odor of smoke.

"It's vital that people who live in the affected areas equip themselves with tools that offer serious protection against airborne particulate matter and offer some relief from smoke odor," says Sam Teitelbaum, President of AllerAir Industries, manufacturers of advanced HEPA-carbon air purifiers. "High levels of smoke carry large particles that settle in the upper respiratory track and very fine particles which penetrate deep into the lungs."

Anyone, including healthy people, may be affected by smoke particulate; however, older adults, people with pre-existing respiratory conditions and children are more likely to suffer from serious health complications. Smoke travels easily and can affect communities hundreds of miles away from the primary burn zone.

"We'd also like to remind those investigating personal protective equipment and odor controllers, that standard paper dust masks you can buy at the hardware store cannot protect you from fine airborne particle matter," cautions Teitelbaum. "And if you're considering the purchase of an air cleaner or air purifier, keep in mind that a HEPA-only unit cannot remove smoke odor. Look for a product that contains pounds of activated carbon."

The AllerAir 5000 DS Exec air purifier is specifically engineered for smoke odor and chemical by-products. It features a tar-trapping pre-filter, a 24 lb. deep-bed carbon filter, and a micro-particles filter rated 95% efficient at 0.5 microns. It’s suggested for users most concerned about smoke odor and airborne chemicals.

The Austin Air Healthmate air purifier, with 15 pounds of activated carbon, also works well in removing the toxic chemicals and tiny particles produced by a wildfire. The Austin Air Healthmate Jr. air purifier has seven pounds of activated carbon.

As for masks, the following masks contain carbon: Respro Techno Mask, Respro Aero Mask, Respro Bandit Scarf, and Honeycomb Mask.



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