I use a respirator mask labeled N95 or N100. This provides protection from fine and course particles, but does not filter hazardous gasses such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and acrolein. It is fairly comfortable and easily accessible and can work almost anywhere. The mask should have 2 straps that go around your head. A surgical mask or a one-strap paper mask is inadequate. The mask should seal tightly over your face. It should indent in with a very deep breath. These masks don’t seal well on children or people with beards. I almost always have a particulate mask hanging from the sun visor in my vehicles for unexpected smoke or dusty jobs.

Paper “comfort” or “dust” masks commonly found at hardware stores are designed to trap large particles, such as sawdust. These masks will not protect your lungs from the small particles found in wildfire smoke. Bandannas or towels (wet or dry) or tissues held over your mouth and nose are not adequate protection. These may relieve dryness but won’t protect your lungs from smoke particulates. http://www.cdc.gov/features/wildfires/

For purchase:

Home Depot, Boise N 95 Respirator Masks @ $.5.00- and $21.00 for a 15 pack .

Amazon – sells N95 Respirator Masks at about $4.00 each and an N100 Disposable Particulate masks for $6.00 each.

Thriftway Home Centers, Boise – none

 

Credits to Ann Huycke and Jeanine Butler.