Title: California Wildfires: Are You Allergic to the Wildfire Smoke in Your Air?
Every year in the United States we are faced with a devastating and unwelcomed season of wildfires in the Northwest regions. As years progress, wildfire season has become more and more destructive with millions of acres destroyed in the regions affected. From January to October of this year, more than 50,000 wildfires have impacted over 8.5 million acres in the United States. And just when we thought that wildfire season was behind us, the fires continue to burn in Southern California, as hazy, smoke-filled skies taint the air quality and impact resident’s health in the wildfire areas.
Wildfires have grown nationwide, with the biggest occurrence in California which held 82 percent of the total number of wildfires in the US in the last year. With this growth of wildfires, it can lead to a dramatic increase in allergy-like symptoms for residents in the area's affected by the smoke released from these blazing wildfires. Could this reaction be as simple as an allergy to the wildfire smoke in the air?
H2: How Do Wildfires Affect Allergies
Wildfire smoke can be quite hazardous to the overall health of those exposed to the toxic environment. The smoke from a wildfire contains a vast amount of air pollutants that can be a cause for concern when inhaled. The main air pollutants found in wildfire smoke include carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulate matter, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and volatile organic compounds. The unhealthiest and most compromising component of wildfire smoke to our health is the fine particulate matter that is contained within the released smoke, according to the US Forest Service. These fine particulate matters can infiltrate deep into your lungs, and the smaller the particulate size is the deeper they can penetrate into the body and the more danger it can cause to your health. If particulate matter in smoke is smaller than 2.5 micrometers, we label this air pollutant as “fine particulate matter” that is similar in diameter to a piece of human hair. When this fine particulate matter enters into your lungs it can cause an allergic reaction type response, which we associate with smoke allergies.
H3: Smoke Exposure: Effects of Smoke Inhalation from Forest Fires
How smoke can affect your overall health can be a direct result of a few different factors such as how long you were exposed to the smoke, how old you are, your current health condition, and the concentration of the smoke in the air. Did you know that over 90% of emissions from wildfires are small enough to enter into the respiratory system? Wildfires release smoke, soot, toxic gases and miniscule particles into the air that travel for tens to hundreds of miles, contributing to the increase in respiratory and heart problems. The ability of smoke to travel for miles beyond the affected area presents smoke exposure dangers to not only those in the immediate area of the wildfire but those in close range to the fires. Wildfire smoke can have severe short- and long-term health effects on the impacted population. The smoke exposure can have long-term effects on the respiratory system and for those who suffer from heart or lung conditions. Whereas short-term effects of smoke exposure can invoke allergy-like symptoms such as watery eyes and sinus irritation.
H2: Can You Be Allergic to Fire Smoke
Fire smoke can be an irritant that can elicit symptoms similar to those of allergies, leading you to wonder if you could possibly be allergic to the toxic compounds contained in the wildfire smoke. For many people, when they are exposed to smoke induced from a wildfire, symptoms will follow similar to those of allergies and the leading cause to this reaction is caused by the small particulate matter that is passing through your airways from the smoke. And for those who are already predisposed to allergies, the smoke from a wildfire can easily trigger allergy symptoms and severely impact their health. When smoke is quite heavy for a long duration of time, fine particles will build in the environment and trigger allergy symptoms to commence.
H3: Smoke Allergy Symptoms
A strong relationship has been established between exposure to smoke from a wildfire and respiratory/allergy symptoms. Here are the tell-tale signs of smoke allergy symptoms you may experience when exposed to wildfire smoke;
- Runny nose or inflamed sinuses
- Shortness of Breath
- Chest Pain
- Eye irritation
H3: Bad Air Quality Symptoms
Wildfire smoke is a major contributor to particulate air pollution, and is recognizes as an important health issue to those that are exposed. While air quality has improved in recent years in the United States, emissions from wildfires have increased, affecting the quality of the air in these areas plagued by fires. In California, half of the fine particulate emissions were attributed to wildfires brought on by the severe drought in the state. Bad air quality and smoke allergy symptoms go hand-in-hand, as smoke is the key determinant in the pollution of air quality in the environment. So, you can expect bad air quality symptoms to reflect the same as smoke allergy symptoms.
H2: The Ultimate Fire Smoke Allergy Treatment: Indoor Air Quality is Significant
During a wildfire, the safest place for you to seek shelter is in the comfort of your home, where you can barricade yourself from the toxic outdoor smoke-filled environment. In order to help prevent smoke-induced health issues you should try to keep your indoor air as unpolluted as you can by proactively keeping windows shut and doors securely closed. Also, make a conscious effort to minimize indoor air pollutants that can be emitted from candles, fireplaces, gas stoves and harsh-chemical filled cleaning products, as these items can compromise the quality of your home’s indoor air. However, let’s be real, it can be hard to completely eliminate indoor air pollutants from your home, and when a wildfire is occurring in your area staying in the confinements of your home indefinitely can be a far-fetched expectation. Thus, smoke pollutants can travel on articles of your clothing or on your personal items that are exposed to the smoke and make their way into your home. When this happens, what is the best line of defense to eliminate these pollutants from your home’s air? Many will suggest placing an effective air purifier in your home to help combat pollutants that have migrated into your home’s air. Finding an air purifier that works best for smoke pollutants will be your best defense when specifically targeting smoke pollutants in your personal environment.
The EnviroKlenz Mobile Air System uses advanced technology to neutralize harmful and corrosive chemicals like those emitted from a wildfire. The system utilizes a two-stage filtration system that provides toxic and noxious chemical elimination capabilities with the EnviroKlenz patented air cartridge and a HEPA filter that filters out particulate matter down to 0.3 microns in size. This effective air purification system will do the job of eliminating the broad spectrum of chemicals in your indoor air that are produced from a wildfire in your area and to help aid in the betterment of your overall personal health.