Bike Commute in Wildfire Smoke

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Air quality in Portland has now hit the unhealthy range due to wildfire smoke from fires raging in Washington and British Columbia.

I’m a daily bike commuter in Portland, so having a filter for this gross air is important. To filter this polluted air during my bike commute, I went with a 3M N95 respirator air mask, which you can see demonstrated in my video below.

N95 essentially means 95% filtration and it’s the minimum level of filtration that works on wildfire smoke.

It’s important to note, proper fit is critical for the respirator to do it’s job. For instance, beards will often allow unfiltered air through the edges of the mask. These masks often won’t properly fit on children and of course, pets, so be sure to be mindful of outdoor activities with them.

The smoke will go away when the wind direction changes later this week, but the fires will likely keep burning until significant Fall rain arrives.

I recommend having a 10 pack of N95 or higher air masks on hand so they can be used as needed through this fire season and next.

Please let me know what your tips are for breathing clean air during wildfire smoke by commenting or mentioning me, @oakfive, on Twitter.

If you haven’t yet, please check out my fictional take on how to deal with wildfire.

-Nate

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