Should you wear a mask when it's hazy outside?

Should you wear a mask when it's hazy outside?

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho -- Smoke from wildfires burning in Canada, Montana and even here in Washington has settled in our area.

With the slight haze of smoke we are seeing, should you be wearing a mask? Inhaling wildfire smoke can be really harmful and that is why experts say wearing a mask can help provide an extra barrier from the elements.

"The smaller the particle, the further it can penetrate into the lungs. The further it penetrates into the lungs, the more opportunity there is to cause inflammation or to cause irritation," said Dr. Steven Kernerman Spokane Allergy and Asthma Clinic.

Dr. Kernerman said it is better stay inside when air quality is poor. If you have to be outside make sure you are wearing the right mask. The mask should have two straps and labeled with either N95 or P100. You can find these masks at any pharmacy or hardware store for just a few bucks. 

Without a proper mask, Dr. Kernerman said exposure to wildfire smoke can cause irritation for those with sensitive lungs and those who do not. It just depends on your activity and how long you are outside.

"Monitor the levels and see how you're feeling when you’re outside. And if you're planning on doing some heavy duty training that involves running maybe don't do that outside," said Dr. Kernerman.

He also pointed out that when the air quality is bad you should not drive with the windows down and if you have the AC on, make sure your air filter is up to date.

Check the air quality

© 2017 KREM-TV


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