COLORADO SPRINGS — Even though summer might be ending, the wildfire season is still upon us result in smoke and haze that can linger in the air for days.
If you live in a high-risk area like most of Southern Colorado, there are some tips you can practice to keep your lungs safe from the harmful particles in the air.
First, stay aware! Download the KOAA News 5 Weather App, or the Environmental Protection Agency Air Quality Index. Second, consider sealing your home when the air quality is unsafe. However, only seal your home when the air quality is bad. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), sealing your home in a low-risk area can cause more harm than good. Although it will keep out anything that is bad, it will also trap harmful concentrations of toxic household chemicals.
Third, use an air purifier in your home. When making this purchase, check and make sure the system that you purchase is rated for the size room you have. Also, be sure that the device is a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter-rated purifier.
"Purifiers can capture particles down to about 0.1 micrometers," Epidemiologist, Dr. Jen Richmond-Bryant, during an interview with our news partners. "They're so tiny that they can get deep down into your lungs when you inhale them."
If you're in a lower risk area changing the filter every four to six months is ideal. If you live in a high-risk area, change the filter more frequently.