Although wildfire season is beginning to come to an end in the northern hemisphere, what we often fail to consider is that the impacts of wildfire pollution can last far longer than the smoke itself. This is especially apparent regarding indoor air quality, where pollutants left by wildfire smoke can remain inside for weeks or even months.
A Colorado State University team study found that VOCs deposited inside by wildfire smoke can be released into the air again days or even weeks after the smoke has passed. This has serious implications as it means that VOCs can still impact your health even when the threat has seemingly passed.
Luckily, there are actions we can take to ensure our indoor air is clean from these harmful particles. The study investigated a range of cleaning methods and found that dusting and vacuuming can reduce the levels of indoor air pollutants left by wildfires.
This highlights the importance of performing a ‘deep clean’ after your area has been affected by wildfire smoke. While air purifiers are a good step towards removing any pollutants from the air that enter your house, they won’t filter the particles, which settle and only become airborne again when disturbed. To remove these, your best bet is to thoroughly vacuum and dispose of the waste properly.