Wildfire season is here – 3M scientist offers tips to help protect yourself and improve indoor air quality
Aug 17, 2023

Extreme heat, wildfire smoke and sandstorms are expected to continue this summer. As these weather conditions impact the air quality both inside and outside the home, scientists at 3M offer tips and resources to help address particulate air pollution during these hazardous conditions. 

“Extreme weather conditions can seriously impact the air quality both outside and inside your home. It’s important to know what you can do to help protect yourself outside and improve indoor air quality,” said Dr. Nikki Vars McCullough, a respiratory protection scientist at 3M. “When dealing with poor outdoor conditions, staying inside and maintaining good air quality should be a top priority. When you do go outside, an N95 respirator is one option to help reduce exposure to airborne particulate pollution.” 

NIOSH has recently published recommendations on how to help protect workers and the public from wildfire smoke.

Dr. McCullough has spent the past 26 years as a respiratory protection scientist at 3M, testing and developing products to help protect respiratory systems for all types of people and environments. While extreme weather conditions are bringing greater attention to poor air quality outside, people may not be aware of how weather can also impact their indoor air quality. According to the Centers for Disease Control, keeping windows and doors closed is one way to help preserve indoor air quality. 

"Outdoor pollutants can seep inside our homes. Cutting back everyday activities such as burning candles, cooking, and vacuuming when there’s poor air quality outside, and using air purifiers and high-efficiency HVAC filters such as 3M Filtrete Air Filters inside your home and changing the filters regularly can help provide cleaner, fresher air,” said Dr. McCullough.  

Some experts suggest that the current wildfire season will continue to pick up in the coming months as dry weather and hotter temperatures continue.   

3M continues to support ongoing disaster relief efforts wherever they occur.  In Maui, 3M N95 respirators are already en route to Hawaii from our partner Direct Relief.  

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