HELENA — So far this summer we’ve gotten by without too much smoke in the Helena area, something that many of us have been very thankful for. Well, with the potential for a smoky August, Lewis and Clark Public Health wants to remind folks of some practices for clean air in the home.
Montanans are all too familiar with the effects of a smoky day: coughing, wheezing, and just general discomfort from the smoke from a wildfire nearby or miles away.
Long periods of exposure to wood smoke can create long-term health problems. That’s why it’s important to set aside a room or ideally your whole home to circulate clean air.
A few tips from Lewis and Clark Public Health include closing windows and doors, while not blocking exits, and using a damp cloth or mop to clean up any dust particles that have settled on surfaces. Additionally, you want to be using an air filtering system.
Ideally, acquiring a HEPA-certified air purifying system for at least one room in your home is a good idea for your health.
And escaping the smoke is not only good for your physical health but also your mental health.
“The biggest thing we deal with here are weeks on end of wildfire smoke. You know, if you have a week, two, or three weeks of being outside in that smoke, that accumulates over time in the body, accumulates in your lungs, and causes, you know, long-term issues. So being able to get away from that, you know, not only helps that area but it helps your mental health. And it just gives you a break from that constant,” says Jay Plant, an Environmental Health Specialist at Lewis and Clark Public Health.
More information on how to create a clean air room at home: https://www.airnow.gov/sites/default/files/2022-02/how-to-create-a-clean-room-at-home.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0Pj-wjdp-20iMuLMM1_p0HMsv3P8jKKlyvfykRs8p0pIknv5d7baJKdyY