As if Hurricane Dora wasn’t causing enough chaos, fires are now blazing in Lahaina and Upcountry Maui, significantly exacerbated by the hurricane’s fierce winds. While the damage to property and nature is devastating, the toll on human health is even more concerning. Maui’s hospital system is struggling under the weight of burn injuries and cases of smoke inhalation. Detailed updates on these wildfires can be found here.
Amidst this calamity, it is a good reminder to prioritize the air quality in our homes. Within the confines of our homes, we expect to find sanctuary from external threats, but the reality can sometimes be quite different depending on when plants are blooming (ragweed is awful in Ohio right now!) and of course, especially when natural disasters arise.
If you are in an area where wildfires are of a concern, lingering hazardous pollutants from wildfires, such as fine particulate matter (PM2.5), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and harmful gases like carbon monoxide, can infiltrate our homes and compromise indoor air quality. These pollutants are minute and can easily bypass standard home barriers, infiltrating our living spaces through vents, windows, and even tiny gaps in our home’s structure. Over time, continuous exposure can lead to various health complications, ranging from minor irritations, like coughing or throat soreness, to more severe issues such as respiratory conditions and in some cases, long-term ailments.
Even in Ohio, homes with pre-existing indoor air quality issues, such as mold or excess humidity, can exacerbate the health risks when combined with natural disasters including pollutants from wildfires. I don’t know about you but my family has really noticed a difference in air quality this summer as a result of the Canadian wildfires. I can’t imagine how awful it must be to live closer to the action! It underscores the importance of regularly monitoring indoor air quality, ensuring proper ventilation, and investing in air purification solutions, especially during heightened outdoor pollution.
With the right guidance and tools, we can fortify our homes, turning them into the sanctuaries they are meant to be, even amidst environmental challenges. One brand that I recommend is IQAir , a globally renowned Swiss-based air quality tech organization that has been arming people and institutions in over 100 countries with tools and information to breathe cleaner air. They offer affordable air quality monitoring and insightful data solutions to various stakeholders, including governments and NGOs. Want a sneak peek into the current global air quality scenario? Dive into their live air quality map and get your hands on the IQAir AirVisual App. This tool provides real-time air quality information, air pollution forecasts, and weather data spanning over 10,000 cities worldwide.
Clean Air and College Students
Sending kids off to college is a significant milestone, but this year, alongside the usual essentials, I’ve packed something extra for my son – the Atem Desk Air Purifier. With the present focus on air quality and with the upcoming cold/flu/covid season, I believe it’s crucial for college students to breathe clean air. They’re already juggling a multitude of stressors, from academic pressures to navigating adulthood; they shouldn’t have to worry about the air they breathe. The Atem Desk Air Purifier is compact, making it perfect for dorm rooms and promises advanced filtration.
I’ll be keeping a close watch on how it performs and promise to share a comprehensive review in the upcoming weeks. For more details on this purifier, visit here.
While we might feel helpless amidst natural disasters, we’re not powerless. Tools and information are at our fingertips, enabling us to make the best choices for our family’s health. Stay safe, breathe easy, and keep your loved ones close.