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Industrial Smoke: It’s Impact on Health and How to Get Cleaner Air

If you live near an industrial area, you need to be aware of the potential consequences of industrial smoke.

This pollutant, which can be present at varying levels, has serious consequences for the environment, personal health, and even mental capability.

Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to stop pollution and protect yourself at work and in the home from gases and smoke.

Potential Health Effects of Industrial Smoke

There are many harmful effects of high concentrations of industrial smoke. One important study comes from the United Kingdom. In this study, researchers looked at data from children who were living near cement works facilities, which had a high amount of smoke-emitting truck traffic. This study found that children living closer to the facilities were more likely to experience issues like sore throats, congested nasal passages, and sore eyes.

While we may think of smoke as a gas, it’s essentially solid particles floating in the air. Therefore, you can reference the EPA’s description of particle matter to get an understanding of the health effects of industrial smoke.

They say that particle matter, which includes smoke, is linked to irregular heartbeats, aggravated asthma, poor lung function, heart attacks, and even premature death for people with heart or lung diseases.

What Can You Do About Industrial Smoke?

If you live in an area affected by industrial smoke and other airborne pollutants created by industry, you have the power to create change. While you may not be in a position to force change directly, you may discover that the power of one concerned citizen can make a significant difference. It’s your air and your area, so don’t be afraid to speak up and bring any concerns to the industrial company and local, state, and federal governments.

We suggest you try to obtain air quality monitoring data to back up your case.

Step 1: Contact the Company

Before you do anything else, start by contacting the company or facility in question. For example, if you noticed pillars of black smoke rising from a nearby factory, contact the facility and speak with managers about your concern.

Most companies and facilities take great pride in their record of clean production, and they may be willing to share information with you on their record and their current efforts to avoid smoke pollution such as with a smoke eater. In some cases, you may be the catalyst for change by simply notifying industrial leaders of a potential problem. 

Step 2: Contact Your Local and State Governments

If you feel you did not receive an adequate response from the industry, the next step should be to contact your local and state government. Many cities, counties, and states have online environmental complaint forms that citizens can use to register concerns of environmental pollution. Depending on the area, the facility, and the laws, you may be able to force change through your regional government.

Step 3: Contact the EPA

If you feel the state was unable to fulfill your request for change, you have the right to log an official report with the Environmental Protection Agency, which is responsible for maintaining national air quality standards. Using this form, you will be asked to give as much information as you can provide, including the name and location of the suspected violator’s company and the date of the incident. While you are not required to give your personal information, the EPA says that providing contact information will help them acquire more details on the case and could be the difference for whether or not an investigation is warranted.

Protecting Yourself and Your Family From Industrial Smoke

People who live in areas with large amounts of smoke, traffic exhaust, and industrial pollution need to be fully prepared to handle the issue and maintain better lung health.

Dealing with the Industrial Smoke Outdoors

Air pollution masks are becoming more advanced each year, and in places like China, they are even becoming part of the fashion scene. However, you won’t be wearing them to impress runway judges, you’ll be wearing them to protect yourself. Regardless of style, make sure you have masks that are rated N95 or higher. The letter is not as much of a concern to regular citizens (“R” and “P” are generally for industrial workers), but the number essentially tells you the percentage of particles that are removed from the air you breath. So N95 masks remove 95% of airborne particles.

If outdoor pollution is particularly high, avoid prolonged outdoor exercise and instead choose an indoor gym. When you exercise, you naturally pull more air into your lungs, which means you also pull in more smoke and airborne pollution. The American Lung Association recommends avoiding exercise, such as jogging or biking, near high-traffic areas. You should apply this same principle to industrial smoke: avoid exercising near smoke-emitting factories or industrial centers.

If you or anyone in your family has asthma, respiratory allergies, COPD, or any other respiratory condition, you need to be particularly careful to avoid exposure to air pollution. Being diligent about wearing masks, avoiding polluted areas, and maintaining a healthy home can help reduce aggravation of the lungs.

Maintain Clean Indoor Air

Although clean indoor air should be a concern for all homeowners, people in high-pollution areas need to be especially concerned with indoor air quality. After all, if you have to deal with industrial smoke and other pollutants outside, cleaning the air inside gives your lungs a much-needed break.

Air quality issues at a school can take many forms. In some cases, exhaust fumes from buses that are idling can present problems. As can poor ventilation and air conditioning that leads to mold or stale air issues. 

Cleaning and dusting can go a long way to reduce airborne particles, but you should also avoid products that contribute to indoor air pollution. Many scented sprays and candles, for example, smell nice but can actually release harmful chemicals into the air. This won’t reduce outdoor or indoor smoke, but it will create a healthy haven for your lungs. Obviously, cigarette smoking and second-hand smoke is a big no-no indoors.

Do Air Purifiers Work for Smoke Removal?

Smoke is very difficult to remove. This is because it is made up of particulates and hundreds of gases or chemicals.

Some air cleaners do a good job in removing smoke however most do not. Air purifiers need  high efficiency air filters and a strong motor to be effective at smoke removal. HEPA filter based media filters particles while carbon activated filters remove gases. 

Air Purifiers for Clearing Industrial Smoke

If industrial smoke is a problem in your area, there is a good chance that you may have smoke seeping into your home. Fortunately, there are a few steps that you can take to reduce the amount of smoke in your home, and it starts with a high-quality air purifier for smoke.

The mod+ air purifier from Oransi is a great choice if you need to clean a larger area. This purifier, which is capable of cleaning a room up to 1,361 square feet with two air changes per hour. Despite its cleaning power, it has a quiet motor that delivers peaceful performance.

If you want more options for cleaning smoke in your home, contact the team at Oransi today. We’ll help you make a great choice for maintaining healthy air and eliminating smoke in your home!