How Wildfires Affect Air Pollution & Impact Our Health & Wellness.
In recent years, wildfires have increased in frequency and severity. This is due to dryer weather conditions and an expanding Wilderness Urban Interface (WUI). This has led to longer wildfire seasons in the Western United States and Canada. The fires themselves are increasingly catastrophic, deadlier, costlier, and larger with every year seeming to exceed the previous year’s destruction. This in turn affects our indoor air environment as well.
Wildfire smoke contains elevated levels of particles and gases (VOCs) that are minute (less than 2.5 microns in size) and can travel for thousands of miles. Wildfire smoke particles increase the amount of submicron particles that we breathe and are injurious to our health. As wood burns, countless tiny particulates a fraction of the width of a hair are released into the air. These bits — also found in traffic exhaust, factory fumes and more — are listed among the leading contributors to illness and death today. According to the Toronto Star, Air pollution is linked to the development of neurological disorders like dementia, heart disease, lung disease, assorted cancers and more.
On Tuesday May 16th, Calgary became the most polluted city in the world for a few hours…At its peak, levels of fine, toxic particles were recorded at over 500 micrograms per cubic meter in parts of Calgary — more than five times the average in Lahore, Pakistan, considered 2022’s most polluted city in the world. In Western Canada, tons of smoke and toxic particles streaming from Alberta’s raging wildfires caused the city to max out Canada’s Air Quality Health Index, sitting at “Very High Risk” for several hours. Wow, that is too bad for our Canadian friends, but it does not affect us in the states, right? Ah, not so fast!
While these uncontrolled wildfires burn across Canada, the particle haze diffuses throughout the atmosphere and the air currents spread them to parts of the U.S. that become injurious to our health.
IAQ and industrial hygiene experts report that if you are living in an area impacted by wildfire smoke, it is recommended that you invest in an air cleaner and place it in the room you spend most of your time in. While that may suffice for a room-to-room application, how about the rest of the living space in a home? That is where a whole house IAQ strategy comes into play.
Dynamic Air Quality Solutions has products that can be installed into your heating and cooling system to address all three phases of indoor air contaminants (particles, germs, and gases), and especially the particles that we have addressed above. To effectively cleanse the indoor air from combustible smoke and haze, and other airborne particles, an electrically enhanced filtration system is essential. An electrically enhanced system, like our Polarized Media Air Cleaner will remove 97% of particles at .3 microns, capturing and reducing the smallest concentrations of contaminants which make up the bulk of wildfire smoke. This coupled with our UVC/UVV systems will effectively cleanse any outdoor contaminants that enter our indoor environment while keeping indoor contaminants at acceptable levels.
Masters Services Plumbing Heating and Cooling is a reputable heating, plumbing, air conditioning, and indoor air quality service near you in Lake Geneva. Our Professional contractors have years of experience to provide you with fresh and clean air quality and have managed many projects. To request an estimate, call 262) 248-2103