Air Purifier Demand Surging Due to Wildfire Smoke

Air Purifier Demand Surging Due to Wildfire Smoke

This month, surging Canadian wildfires have resulted in wildfire smoke heavily affecting areas from New York to Alabama. Recent images in places like New York showed a heavy haze transcending the city, driving major demand for N95 masks to protect against smoke inhalation.


Sadly, thanks to more regular wildfires across North America in recent years, the adverse effects of wildfire smoke are widely known. During wildfires, airborne particles are created from burning vegetation and other matter. The health impact of these particles is determined by particle size and length of human exposure. 


The drastic effects of the Canadian wildfires in U.S. states have seen surging demand for N95 masks, widely used during the pandemic, as medical officials have recommended them as the best way to filter out the tiniest of harmful airborne particles created from wildfire smoke. 


When properly worn, N95 masks can filter up to 95% of particles in the air. On the most severe level, exposure to airborne particles from wildfire smoke can cause an increased risk of asthma attacks and irritate existing cardiovascular conditions. For non-high-risk individuals, even short exposure to wildfire smoke can irritate the throat, eyes, and nasal passages. 


In light of their positive effects, manufacturers of N95 masks are racing to meet urgent demand. Similar to times of high demand during the pandemic, manufacturers are proceeding cautiously, carefully monitoring current demand. While the effects of the wildfire are severe now, the haze over many areas of the U.S. is not expected to last long, leaving manufacturers wary of producing too many masks if demand suddenly halts. Still, forecasters expect air quality to remain at unhealthy levels for several days even as the wildfires wane.


While predictable manufacturers such as 3M remain poised to meet current demand, other retailers such as Home Depot and Lowe’s are working to stock their shelves with products such as masks in targeted regional areas affected by wildfire smoke. 


In addition to mask retailers, producers of air purifiers have seen a recent rise in demand for air purifier products. Companies such as Air Oasis are working overtime to ship purifiers nationwide after a surge in sales this week, stating they have the inventory on hand to meet current demand.

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