Where can I go in San Francisco to stay safe?
Free and reduced price locations with healthy air: libraries, malls, museums:
How can I best monitor air quality?
PurpleAir sensors measure *local* air quality, and shows a wide variety of scores across a region based on the sensor’s location. The scores tend to be higher in general, due to not being calibrated. But the point is, scores will vary due to our unique SF topography and micro-climates. EPA provides a *regional* score.
What is the actual concern?
The smell itself is not the high concern, so filtering out smell with low-end masks or filters is not solving the problem. PM2.5 is odorless (but yes, mixed with the smoke in this case) and is so small that it gets into the bloodstream through the lungs, and damages the lungs. PM2.5 will hurt you before you feel it, permanently damaging deep tissue because your lungs cannot filter these tiny particles. At 150 AQI you need a mask. Children are most at risk.
What type of mask should I buy?
Avoid a one‐strap paper dust mask or a surgical mask that hooks around your ears as they don’t protect against fine particles. Masks must be NIOSH approved N95 or N100, be fitted properly for no gaps, and not used beyond expiration. There are knock-offs on the market so be aware. Only buy name brands such as 3M or Vogmask that are NIOSH approved and from a reputable source. 3M paper masks expire after 3-8 hours of use. Vogmask has children sizes and last longer.
What type of purifiers are best?
HEPA filters are able to reduce PM.25 in a properly sealed and properly sized room. In addition to the Molekules we have at school, here is a list of recommended HEPA air purifiers:
You can make your own inexpensive MERV-13 rated air filter
What else is helpful to know?
-Stay indoors with HEPA filter running, windows and doors closed.
-Put damp towels at bottoms of doors if seal poor to block air entry.
-Drink plenty of water.
-Wear a PM95 or respirator mask outside.
-Wet mop/wipe to remove dust (don’t stir up dust with the vacuum cleaner).
-Take shoes off at the door.
-Wash your nose out and gargle with clean water. Do this five times a day until the smoke subsides.
-Take a shower and wash your clothing after being outside.
KIDS FIRE TEA from Scarlet Sage Herb Co:
Equal parts (1 ounce each)
- Marshmallow root
And a pinch of Rosehips
*mix all herbs together. Use 1 tsp per 8 ounces of hot water. Steep for 15 min, and strain. Add honey (an absolute must!). They can add this tea to their water in a water bottle and drink all day if they like it, or give them 2-3 cups per day, if possible. Have them drink this (or any tea with honey) as long as smoke is present.