Wildfire Season and Your Respiratory Health

Wildfire smoke may make the sky look cool, but it is also very dangerous to your respiratory health.

Wildfire smoke contains a mixture of carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and volatile chemicals.  The amounts will depend on what is feeding the flames but none of these elements are to your benefit. 

Particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns can enter your deep lung tissue and even the bloodstream. This oxidative stress and irritation can damage and stiffen lung tissue.

I say this not to create fear related to wildfires but to take extra precautions until the smoke clears to make sure you are not inadvertently damaging your respiratory system or creating opportunity for illness.

People with allergies, asthma, and pre-existing respiratory disease are of course at greatest risk. But also pregnant mothers, children, the elderly, and those with cardiovascular disease should be extra cautious.

Protective Measures

Along with physical barriers of staying indoors or wearing an N95 mask if you have to work outside in the smoke, it would be beneficial to increase your intake of high antioxidant, flavonoid loaded food and bring on board lung supportive supplements. 

Flavonoid-rich foods include most colorful fruit or vegetables but beetroot, berries, onions, apples, red/purple cabbage, kale, green tea are especially dense.

If you do have a lot of outdoor work to do or you have chronic respiratory issues, then now is the time to pull out that N95 mask and use it. Also, be sure to stay hydrated as the smoky air is very drying which only increases your risk of infection and respiratory compromise.

Other Considerations

  • Keep windows and doors closed unless it is extremely hot.
  • Avoid unnecessarily exerting yourself. Heavy breathing will cause you to inhale more smokey air unless you are in filtered air.
  • Run your ventilation system in order to filter the air.
  • Avoid vacuuming, which can temporarily increase airborne particulate levels.
  • If you have an IQ Air filter pull it out.

Nutrient Support

  • Vitamin C – take multiple divided doses throughout the day
  • Glutathione can breakdown acetaldehyde and other toxins found in smoke and as the most potent antioxidant in your lung tissue, it is vital to keep levels in the optimal range to prevent damage from smoke inhalation.
  • NAC and Selenium can also be very helpful in facilitating the removal of inhaled toxins and enabling the lungs to create more glutathione, as they are both needed for its replenishment.
  • Ginger Tea and Turmeric – take in divided doses throughout the day to support detoxification and antioxidant pathways.
  • Chlorophyll (E3 Live or BioPure) helps clear toxins and oxygenate the body tissues.
  • Research indicates that the natural components in AllerRelief, including vitamin C, bioflavonoids, DHQ, NAC, and bromelain, work synergistically to moderate unpleasant immune reaction.*

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Have you been exposed to wildfire smoke? What measures did you take to protect yourself? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

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