Cinnaminson, NJ, August 30th
Each year, millions of people are exposed to airborne pollutants caused by wildfires. Often, these wildfires are considerable distances away from people’s homes and properties, so although they may not pose an immediate danger, exposure to smoke can still impact their health.
To address these concerns, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Indoor Environments Division announced a new web page earlier this year with information to help protect families from wildfire smoke indoors. Included were tips for creating a clean room to safeguard indoor air quality (IAQ).
According to the agency, if there is an active fire in the area, or if the Air Quality Index (AQI) indicates smoke levels are unhealthy and forecasted to remain there, local authorities may advise residents to stay indoors or create a clean room rather than evacuate. Setting up a clean room at home can help reduce exposure to dangerous or unhealthy wildfire smoke while indoors. However, conditions can quickly change, so people should always be prepared to evacuate if necessary.
The EPA goes on to state that everyone can benefit from spending time in a clean room during a wildfire, but it may be most helpful for sensitive individuals like the very young, very old, and people with heart or lung problems. Microscopic particles from wildfires can get into the eyes and respiratory system; whether one is inside or outside, these particles can cause health problems such as burning eyes, runny nose and illnesses such as bronchitis. Fine particles can also aggravate chronic heart and lung diseases, and are linked to premature deaths in people with these conditions.
“Setting up a clean room is a good idea for people who live in rural and urban areas that are impacted by wildfire smoke,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “The EPA’s information provides simple, but effective, tips to achieve a healthier indoor environment when these natural disasters strike. To help disseminate the EPA’s recommendations, EMSL recently sponsored an online video that includes the agency’s tips as a resource to the public.”
Wildfire smoke can also damage properties. Odors, discoloration and "ghosting" effects result when these combustion byproducts make their way into homes and buildings and onto surfaces. Their presence can cause etching and corrosion over time. Fortunately, smoke damage is covered by many property insurance policies, but often requires proof of damages to settle insurance claims and this is all too often left to the property owner to prove. The scientists at EMSL are experts at indoor air quality, smoke damage and soot testing. EMSL even carries an easy-to-use Fire & Smoke Damage Test Kit.
To view EMSL’s sponsored, educational video that shares tips on creating a clean room to help reduce exposure to wildfire smoke, please visit: https://youtu.be/wBHIH_eTszA
To learn more about IAQ or soot and smoke damage testing services, please visit www.EMSL.com
, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com
. For access to the Fire & Smoke Damage Test Kit, visit www.EMSLTestKits.com
.About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 46 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella
, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com
for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.