Wildfires and Indoor Air Pollution

The current environmental threats and wildfires facing Americans are devastating. The air where I live is so suffocatingly heavy with smoke that we have resorted to staying in the house to keep safe.


In this article, I'm sharing what you can do to support your health and promote better air quality indoors in your home. 

Thankfully, we have 3 AirDoctors running 24/7 to filter our indoor air so that even though the air outside might be poor, we do not smell the smoke inside the house. 


It's not just about the smell, though. 


We now have evidence in the scientific literature linking air pollutants like PM 2.5 (which result from natural events like volanic eruptions, wild fires, and also vehicle exhaust, cooking, industrial processes etc) - with many chronic diseases like cardiovascular, lung diseases, increased risks of stroke and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, adverse birth outcomes, and even diabetes. 


At a time when lung and immune health is paramount due to the coronavirus threat, I'm doing what I can to protect myself and my family from the damaging effects. 


Improving air quality in our home - what we're doing...


Using AirDoctor to filter indoor air - why I love it:

  • Ultra-HEPA filter means it filters down to 0.003microns, 100x more than ordinary HEPA, which filters only 0.3microns. 
  • Professional-grade laser sensor to monitor air quality and adjusts filtration speed according to your air quality - so you don't have to guess what speed you should run the filter at. Once it has successfully filtered out the pollutants, it will adjust the speed down. I keep mine on 24/7 on the automatic mode, even if there are no fires because indoor air quality can be so poor due to VOCs. 
  • Powerful enough to filter the air in a 2400 sqf space once every hour. If your room is smaller, it will filter a 900 sqf space 3 times in an hour. (If you have multiple floors or doors between rooms, its efficacy may be reduced and that's why I have 3 units in my house)
  • The most affordable QUALITY air purifier I have found. Comparable units with similar CADR and functionality cost $800-1000.

 Learn more here.

Apart from using Air filters, what I'm doing to protect myself and my family's health - My top 10 list:

1) Checking the Air quality and staying indoors when air quality is poor. Even if you don't have portable air filters, make sure your house air filters are replaced and clean. Keep your windows shut, and if you go out, shower and change your clothes when you get home. If you have an N95 mask, wear this if you have to go out (Sadly, this mask is in short supply and much needed by our frontline staff. I am loathed to encourage you to purchase these when there is such a low supply for our healthcare workers, but I will leave that decision up to you). 

Check the air quality index in your area here. 


2) Drinking lots of filtered water


3) Support your body's natural detoxification system by eating antioxidant-rich foods - focus on getting in different colors of the rainbow + plenty of fiber.

Variety is important, and I want to highlight:

  • Berries
  • Cruciferous - bak choi, broccoli, cabbage, daikon
  • Quercetin rich foods (apple, onion, tea, capers)
  • Other things that may support the glutathione detox pathway (this is the master antioxidant in our body):  Green tea/matcha, rosemary, rooibos, turmeric, ginger, garlic. Visit my website for my favorite brands of turmeric + tea.


4) Getting enough magnesium - sources include; leafy greens, nuts/seeds, cacao and supplement if necessary but consult a health care provider before use. Epsom salt baths are also a great option. (I prefer Dr. Teal) 


5) Increase your intake of Vitamin C. Smoke, especially the ultrafine particulate matter causes widespread inflammation. Antioxidants can help counter some of the oxidative damage that leads to inflammation. 


6) NAC (N-acetyl cysteine) is a precursor to glutathione and is readily found supplement in most health food stores. NAC can help break down mucous in the lungs. Consult your health care provider before use. 


7) Sometimes, supplementing with liposomal Vitamin C + glutathione may help support detoxification - speak to your health care provider if this is a good option.


8) Avoiding things that tax our detoxification systems e.g. alcohol, inflammatory foods, toxins in our environment from household cleaners and personal care products. We want to take the load off our liver and kidneys so they can focus on getting rid of the air pollutants that do enter our bodies.  


9) Take off your shoes when you come inside, this will reduce the tracking of particulate matter into your home. 


10) Last but not least - double down on self-care and stress management. Stress can cause inflammation and impair detoxification and our gut health. I know it is easier said than done. We are collectively experiencing a REALLY stressful and rough time, and if you are feeling worn down - I feel you. It's hard not to feel sad when we realize the extent of destruction and suffering. These feelings are valid, and it's important to connect with them. Journalling has helped me tremendously. However, it can be easy to let fear and anxiety sweep us away. Meditation and my gratitude practice has been an absolute savior for me, but whatever self-care or stress management might look like for you, I really encourage you to carve time out of your day to LOOK AFTER YOURSELF. Sitting for 20 minutes is not a waste of time. It can have profound benefits for your health, both mental and physical. 

Looking for an Air Purifier for your home? 

AirDoctor has an excellent special offer!

$300 OFF your purchase - 50% OFF of a value of  $629! 

AirDoctor is the ultimate home purification system and is my #1 recommendation. 

Indoor air pollution is caused by a combination of particles. This can include smoke combined with ozones, invisible gases, VOCs, bacteria and hidden indoor pollutants. The AirDoctor filters out PM 2.5 particles which cause the most vulnerability to our health. This includes the pollution created by wildfires producing a by-product of VOCs and dangerous gases. 

Purchase your AirDoctor here. 


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