An N95-certified respirator is made from specialized fabric designed to capture particles before they are inhaled.
While cloth face coverings provide protection from spreading COVID-19, they provide no protection from smoking particles. As the forest fires burning across northern California spew wildfire smoke, many residents might turn to N95 masks to shield against airborne particles. People have been buying them widely over the past few years, when smoke from record-setting fires has enveloped Northern California. An N95-certified respirator is made from specialized fabric designed to capture particles before they are inhaled.
Wear a mask, or better yet, N95 respirators, which will help to decrease inhalation of smoke and particles.
Respirators made for individual use with face shields may also be effective, but they are not the inexpensive paper or fabric masks many people use commonly in developing countries. So wear a mask, or better yet, N95 respirators, which will help to decrease inhalation of smoke and particles. People who need to be outside for extended periods of time, in areas where there is heavy smoking, or where there is disturbed ash, might want to wear an NIOSH-certified N95 respirator mask. While certifiedN95 orP100 masks may filter out smoke and ash particles and enhance air quality for adults, they are not designed for children.
Pediatricians caution that masks may also give parents a false sense of safety, encouraging them to spend more time outside, subjecting their children to dangerous smoke. Children may be at special health risk from wildfire smoke and ash exposure, since their lungs are still growing, according to the Federal Environmental Protection Agency. Even brief exposure to wildfire smoke can cause asthma and heart attacks, and has been linked to increased risks for infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia, among other illnesses.
Wildfire smoke can reach communities hundreds of miles away from the flames. It can contain a number of harmful air pollutants, ranging from known cancer-causing substances to microscopic particles that may worsen existing health problems and increase risk for heart attacks, strokes, and symptoms of asthma. Wildfire smoke, which has reached densely settled areas such as Los Angeles, has affected thousands. Wildfires, fuelled by drought conditions and strong winds, are burning across large areas of property in the areas surrounding San Francisco and Los Angeles, fouling the air quality of residents miles away from the flames.
The Air Quality District and Department of Emergency Management are part of an effort by local agencies to give Bay Area residents consistent guidance about how to protect themselves from smoke from the fires. Wildfire-related air quality issues are not new in California, and the states public health department offers advice about what masks are helpful – and what ones are not. Among the climate health bills that are still waiting to be considered by Newsom are measures that would allow California emergency supplies of N95 masks to be made available to farmworkers in days with dangerously smokey air, and a requirement that the state create detailed guidelines for counties to include in emergency response plans when air quality is bad due to a fire or other pollution.
The remaining ones, Californias Public Health Services Office recommends, could cut air pollution exposures by one-third or more. In that scenario, everyone needs to reduce their exposure to air pollution, but particularly members of a particular groups of people who are sensitive to that pollutant. Paper masks are designed to shield you from large droplets of somebody that may be sick. N95 respirators prevent particles from entering the mouth and nose.
- Honeywell H910 Plus NIOSH Approved N95 Mask Respirators $39.99 – $59.99
- 3M Tegaderm 9132 N95 Surgical Particulate Respirator $44.99 – $66.66
- Fangtian FT-N040 N95 Respirators Protective Mask NIOSH Certified $29.90 – $39.90
- Nanofiber Materials NASK N95 Filter SM-N9501 $69.99 – $149.90
- Filtering N95 Masks YICHITA NIOSH YQD95 $32.99 – $39.99