Atmospheric Integrated Research at University of California, Irvine

Kleinman quoted on air filters in fire season

Mon, 10/05/2020

AirUCI faculty Mike Kleinman is extensively quoted in an Orange County Register article about the efficacy of air filters in areas affected by wildfire smoke.  He explains that forest fires adversely affect air quality for two reasons: The first is due to the generally short-term exposure to microscopic particles that result from the fire, which irritate soft tissue like eyes, throats, and lungs.  The second is the gas phase from the fire which contains carbon monoxide and chemicals that are known to be carcinogens. 
Mike says air filters can help if buyers select HEPA filters and avoid those that generate ozone (which are banned in California).  “Probably the best evidence that I’ve seen is for small air filter units that recirculate the air in a given room and remove some of the pollutants,” he says. “You can reduce the level of particulates in a room quite substantially.”  Filters attached to heating and air conditioning systems have also been shown to reduce indoor particle exposure substantially.  Read the article