Evidence on the Use of Indoor Air Filtration as an Intervention for Wildfire Smoke Pollutant Exposure: A Summary for Health Departments [open pdf - 4MB]
From the Executive Summary: "Over the last few decades, the United States has experienced an increase in frequency of intense wildfires. Climate change has likely impacted these events through increased summer and spring temperatures, drier vegetation, decreased precipitation in some areas, and an increased probability of lightning storms. Wildfires have caused billions of dollars in property damage and contributed to an estimated 339,000 premature deaths per year globally. Wildfires are also associated with negative health outcomes. The smoke from wildfires contains gaseous pollutants and particulate matter which are associated with multiple respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses. There is evidence that certain populations are more vulnerable to the wildfire smoke exposure than others, including older adults and infants, pregnant women, people with preexisting medical conditions, and people of lower socio-economic status. Interventions that effectively decrease wildfire smoke exposures can protect these vulnerable populations as well as the health of the general public. This technical document summarizes the available peer-reviewed literature about the effectiveness of air filtration as an intervention to decrease exposure to wildfire smoke and protect health when sheltering indoors. It describes the different types of air filtering technology and metrics for measuring air quality and summarizes the literature on their effectiveness in protecting against the harmful air pollutants in wildfire smoke. Relevant federal and state resources for local health professionals are listed. This review illustrates that proper air filtration is an effective method of reducing certain wildfire smoke pollutants indoors and potentially limiting the risk of negative health impacts associated with exposure to wildfire smoke."
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/