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Discussion Starter #1
There's thick smoke from US wildfires in many parts of BC. See the Environment Canada page on air quality.

I tried wearing some different masks outdoors. The cheap disposable ones cut out most, but not all, of the smoke smell. My reusable fabric masks (multiple layers of dense cotton) eliminate all of the smell. The KN95 (a Chinese version of N95 and more or less medical grade) also eliminates all of the smell.

I'm wondering if the odour of the smoke can be used as an indication of mask effectiveness? Wildfire smoke consists of very fine particles, smaller than 2.5 micrometers, but also contains other stuff. Does anyone know if the smoky smell comes from these fine particles?

Would it be reasonable to say that a mask which eliminates more of the odour is doing a better job at filtering particles in general, and offers more protection against COVID?
 

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N95 should be good.
N100 or P100 respirators are better, and that's what I actually use around drywall, spray painting, woodworking etc.

I have one like this, had it for years.
I also got a 10 pack of filters fora few bucks,

If you use it a lot (which you should), the better fit is much more comfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
No question N95 or N100 is great in forest fire smoke.

But are you getting any protection wearing simpler masks such as the multi-layered cotton? Mine eliminates the smell of smoke, so does that mean I'm getting some protection?
 

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No question N95 or N100 is great in forest fire smoke.

But are you getting any protection wearing simpler masks such as the multi-layered cotton? Mine eliminates the smell of smoke, so does that mean I'm getting some protection?
Yes, if the smell is less, the particulate is less.
However you can't tell if it's offering a lot or a little protection.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes, if the smell is less, the particulate is less.
However you can't tell if it's offering a lot or a little protection.
I just found some PM 2.5 filter inserts at a local store, so I popped one of these inside my cloth mask. Those filters are specifically designed to filter out this kind of pollution.
 

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Step one: eat plenty of beans

Step two: wrap mask around your butt

Step three: Fart

Step 4: On a scale of 1 to 10 record smell reading

Step 5 : repeat using different masks
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes I will start using the inserts until the air quality improves.
Do you know when this is supposed to clear? This environment Canada page is still showing poor air quality Tuesday.

And does anyone know what happens inside a vehicle? If you keep all the windows up, and let's say you have the air on "recirculate" mode, is the interior of the vehicle better than the outside? I would guess "no" since you start with a car full of outdoor air.
 

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And does anyone know what happens inside a vehicle? If you keep all the windows up, and let's say you have the air on "recirculate" mode, is the interior of the vehicle better than the outside? I would guess "no" since you start with a car full of outdoor air.
That would be the purpose of the cabin air filter: Breathe Easy with New Cabin Air Filters.

I imagine the normal filters would be good for filtering out smoke.
 

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^ Informative thread (excluding posts 7 & 8 obviously)... on the same note, I noticed wearing a mask whilst walking in the middle of the city, the air actually smells clearer or sans the smell of car exhaust, construction particulates and cigarette smokes.

The drawback on that is the inconvenience and hot/humid days can cause alot of sweat.
 

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The masks will not filter the small particles that are dangerous. Fine particles 2.5 microns or less in diameter do the most damage. Best to stay indoors with windows shut regardless of the COVID BS going on.
 

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Nope
"Normal" filters are just debris filters to keep crap out of your engine.

They might stop some particulate, but it's really targetted to dust that will cause wear, not microparticles that cause cancer.
I'm not talking about engine air filters, but the cabin filters.
At any case they may filter down to 5 microns, not enough for the 0.4-0.7 microns of the wildfires. In-car smoke protection only as good as the vehicle’s filter
Some tips from California on how to deal with it: https://www.sacbee.com/news/california/fires/article245113795.html
In which case, you'd probably want to wear a mask regardless.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just FYI - for people in BC & AB getting this smoke - check out local stores for PM 2.5 filter inserts. I just popped one inside my cloth mask. The PM 2.5 filters are designed to filter pollution particles.

Current fine particle levels are hazardous to health, even for young and healthy people. AVOID exercise ... very dangerous, stay indoors, or if you have to go outside absolutely wear a mask. I'm running a HEPA filter indoors and I also taped up the windows with painters tape to seal them better.
 

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For a guy with chronic COPD, I can appreciate your efforts. We always have our windows open even in the winter. Now we are approaching day 3 with everything shut tight. I am deferring walking outdoors.

But your question about the effectiveness of the car AC is on point!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
For a guy with chronic COPD, I can appreciate your efforts. We always have our windows open even in the winter. Now we are approaching day 3 with everything shut tight. I am deferring walking outdoors.

But your question about the effectiveness of the car AC is on point!
My friends in Oregon are having to do some insane things to deal with the pollution. Many of them are taping up cracks, windows, everything to seal the house. Some of them are getting large box fan units and taping filter mediums to them to make improvised filters.

I thought tomorrow of driving a little bit up north for fun. The smoke forecast looks better over there, but I wonder about all the hours in the car and whether it's a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
These maps and forecasts look very impressive. Does anyone know if this is accurate? It seems to be a collaboration with government, but this is giving far more information than Environment Canada.


This also shows more of Canada getting really bad smoke soon. If this is accurate, people in Winnipeg and various parts of Ontario should prepare ... get your HEPA filters ready, get your outings done NOW.
 
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