Due to her asthma, Marianne Hubbard is making sure she wears a mask during the smoky conditions currently enveloping the Trail area. Guy Bertrand photo

Only certain masks protect against forest fire smoke

Masks must be rated ‘N95’ and labeled a particulate respirator to protect against wildfire smoke

All masks are not created equal.

For those choosing face protection against the ongoing smoky air, a surgical or paper mask commonly found on pharmacy shelves, will do nothing to help.

Masks must be rated ‘N95’ and should also be labeled a ‘particulate respirator.’

Additionally, the mask – or particulate respirator- must fit correctly as outlined in the products’ instructions then discarded after use.

Interior Health advises mask wearers to take regular breaks from use, so the body can recover from the increased breathing effort required. Re-use is not recommended and dirty masks must be regularly discarded.

Breathing smoky air can cause negative health effects because wildfire smoke contains tiny particulates that when inhaled into lungs, can cause irritation and symptoms like coughing or wheezing.

Smoke is especially problematic for those with breathing, heart, and circulation illnesses.

However, healthy people can also be affected, particularly pregnant women, children, the elderly and outdoor workers.

Also, the fire does not have to be close for a person to be affected – if the skies are smoky, there’s a risk.

The health authority advises the public to speak with their doctor prior (during) a smoke event if they want to wear a mask.

In most circumstances masks are not recommended for a number of reasons that include: may make it difficult to breathe normally; can be risky for elderly people and those with existing breathing or heart conditions; N95s cannot be properly worn by people with facial hair; and they stop working if saturated with water or sweat.

Interior Health maintains the best protection during smoky events is to seek cleaner air indoors and consider investing in a HEPA air filtration system, or leave the area entirely. As the latter two may not be practical for most, the health authority suggests it may help to simply stay indoors and reduce physical activity.

Just Posted

Vees rout Smoke Eaters 7-2

Penticton is up 2-0 in best-of-seven playoff series

Penticton Vees erase two-goal deficit to defeat Trail

The Vees take Game 1 of the second round of the BCHL playoffs

Researcher’s quest for information on Trail airman garners response

Aircraftman 1st Class John Dunlop McVie was killed in action over Germany in 1944

Greater Trail police officer involved in Highway 3B crash

The accident happened Wednesday night at the Waneta Plaza lights

No dedicated parking for the Riverfront Centre

Trail council opted to retain long term parking in the lot across the street from the new complex

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

A frustrated Trump lashes out at special counsel Mueller

In a series of weekend tweets naming Mueller for the first time, Trump criticized the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election

B.C. teachers’ union to ask for higher salaries to help with shortages

B.C. starting teacher salaries are $10,000 to $15,000 lower than Ontario or Alberta says B.C. Teachers’ Federation president.

Few political staffers on Parliament Hill report sexual misconduct: survey

Sixty-five of the 266 survey respondents said they had personally experienced at least one incident of sexual harassment.

Experimental pot lab sprouting cannabis-infused drinks, new edibles

Nestled inside Canopy Growth Corp.’s sprawling marijuana facility outside Ottawa is a special laboratory

Federal committee to examine human trafficking in Canada

The Commons committee plans on holding hearings in Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver.

Anti-pipeline protestors block Kinder Morgan tanker near Seattle

Protest was spurred on by the 28 anti-Kinder Morgan activists arrested in Burnaby

Some surprises in new book about B.C. labour movement

“On the Line” charts history of the union movement back to the 1800s

B.C. cyclist races to first win of the season in New Zealand

Casey Brown captures Enduro title by more than two minutes at Crankworx Rotorua

Most Read