Smoke has filled the air from all the forest fires and they are choking us here in the Pacific Northwest. Our air quality has been terrible. We are choosing to stay in our air conditioned office, but what about air quality and motorcycle riding? What can riders do to not breathe the ash and harmful pollutants?
- Safe and approved is the N95 mask
- Benefits of wearing a certified N95 mask is tested and certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. They filter at least 95% of airborne particles.
- Not approved:
- Mouth and nose covers for confining the spread of flu or colds.
- Dust masks.
- Scarf or handkerchief over the nose and mouth provide little protection from small particles.
Before you go
Check the air quality before you choose to ride. Here is a link to Air Now, just plug in your zip code to get your local air quality. Each state also will have a DEQ site for air quality; we are in Oregon so we check this site regularly: www.deq.state.or.us. If you are planning on traveling abroad check out this link: International Air Quality. These websites will assist you in planning your ride and give you information on where to avoid.
While some are more sensitive to smoke than others, it is a good idea to avoid it as much as possible. Smoke is especially harmful to those in the following groups:
- Heart and Lung disease
- Pregnant Women
Is the smoke affecting you? We have experienced running eyes, irritated throat, and difficulty breathing. However if you have health issues you may experience chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, and palpitations. When these happen to you, seek medical attention, it is real.
Unfortunately, forest fires happen each year, either from stupid humans or lightning. So it pays to be aware of what you can do, or even better to avoid the areas affected by the smoke.
It has been a brutal year for fires, we will be thankful for the rain and cooler weather that is coming soon.
Ride with Comfort!
The Crampbuster Team