Can Face Masks Help Protect You From Wildfire Smoke? Health Expert Explains Ava Montini July 26, 2023

Can Face Masks Help Protect You From Wildfire Smoke? Health Expert Explains

Canadian officials have warned that the country faces a “long, tough summer” of wildfires as the current season shatters previous records and forecasts predict even hotter temperatures to come. As wildfires continue to burn in several provinces, smoky skies across parts of the country are prompting recommendations from health officials to wear face masks to avoid inhaling harmful smoke.

What’s especially harmful about the current air quality in most regions are the extremely small particles—called fine particulates—that can travel into the lungs when we breathe, explains Joe Fida, CIO of Canadian air purifier company Blade Air. Joe Fida continues to elaborate how “It is generally not healthy because it can cause inflammation, swelling—there’s a lot of very adverse effects from it, and the other problem is that they stay airborne for a very long time,” 

Inhaling wood smoke can also trigger an asthma attack in those with a history of lung disease or other chronic respiratory illnesses.

By using a face mask when outdoors, specifically an N95 mask, Canadians can reduce their risk of respiratory harm. N95 masks are used to protect against 95 percent of particulates which is why they’re the recommended face mask, however, cloth or paper face masks can provide some mild protection against wildfire smoke. For those remaining indoors with the windows and doors shut, additional air filtration can also ensure the indoor air quality remains clean.

Continue reading the CTV News article here.