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Our AQI is 385
Posted by: Speedy
Date: July 29, 2021 12:59PM
Our air quality index is 385. It looks like a light fog outside and smells like a burning forest. I would guess we are at least 500 miles from any forest fire. My wife had lunch today with a few friends that had been planned for outdoors but it was just too nasty so indoors they retreated.

Later today it is predicted to be 450.

Late edit: Whoops, the 448 was earlier in the morning.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/29/2021 05:37PM by Speedy.
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Re: Our AQI is 385
Posted by: kj
Date: July 29, 2021 01:05PM
That is outrageous. I think anything over 100 is oppressive. I can't imagine 385. For God's sake, don't spend any time breathing that if you don't absolutely have to. Actually, even if you DO absolutely have to.
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Re: Our AQI is 385
Posted by: Speedy
Date: July 29, 2021 01:06PM
Nope, I’m staying indoors.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Our AQI is 385
Posted by: freeradical
Date: July 29, 2021 01:16PM
Well, you probably have some N95 or KN95 masks lying around.
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Re: Our AQI is 385
Posted by: hal
Date: July 29, 2021 01:17PM
We nearly touched 400 yesterday, but luckily, it blew in and blew out in about 10 hours. But those were some pretty miserable hours...

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Re: Our AQI is 385
Posted by: jdc
Date: July 29, 2021 01:35PM
Im 20 miles north of hal, we had a shift in the wind yesterday -- which brought the smoke.

The huge Dixie fire in Nor Cal -- just above Paradise -- is only about 100 miles away, but wind blowing the other way makes our AQI is 26.





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Our AQI is 385
Posted by: wave rider
Date: July 29, 2021 01:38PM
N95 mask can be helpful if you need to go outside, limited duration is best.



=wr=
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Re: Our AQI is 385
Posted by: kj
Date: July 29, 2021 02:13PM
Quote
freeradical
Well, you probably have some N95 or KN95 masks lying around.

Keep in mind that you really need to use a respirator to have a good enough seal. The surgical mask type may help a little, but I wouldn't go outside with one thinking it makes it safe. There's a lot of weird stuff in this smoke.
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Re: Our AQI is 385
Posted by: ka jowct
Date: July 29, 2021 02:37PM
We hit the 150s here in NYC last week due to smoke from the West Coast. Can’t imagine how bad it must be where you are — stay safe. Maybe an N95 mask would help?



My life goes smoothly and in regular intervals
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Re: Our AQI is 385
Posted by: hal
Date: July 29, 2021 02:45PM
Quote
kj
Quote
freeradical
Well, you probably have some N95 or KN95 masks lying around.

Keep in mind that you really need to use a respirator to have a good enough seal. The surgical mask type may help a little, but I wouldn't go outside with one thinking it makes it safe. There's a lot of weird stuff in this smoke.

when the fires got bad last year, I wondered about putting on a KN95 for smoke protection... walked outside with a mask on - not bad. Took it off and could immediately smell smoke. I looked around and could see tiny bits of ash falling. The mask was at least filtering out the chunks of ash. It was WAY better than nothing. And I have a bearded face - no way to get anything close to a perfect seal.
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Re: Our AQI is 385
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: July 29, 2021 03:05PM
With the legendary heatwave back in June and lack of rain, I am thankful for every day the AQI is reasonable and there are no local wildfires.



In tha 360. MRF User Map
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Re: Our AQI is 385
Posted by: lost in space
Date: July 29, 2021 03:07PM
When AQI around here hit 5xx a few years back, I was surprised at how much difference an N95 mask made when I was outside. Respirator was even better. Stay safe and healthy.



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Re: Our AQI is 385
Posted by: pdq
Date: July 29, 2021 04:37PM
Quote
Filliam H. Muffman
With the legendary heatwave back in June and lack of rain, I am thankful for every day the AQI is reasonable and there are no local wildfires.

They don’t have to be local:



Straight outta Manitoba.
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Re: Our AQI is 385
Posted by: hal
Date: July 29, 2021 04:56PM
Quote
pdq
Straight outta Manitoba.

there were articles pointing to the 'western fires' that were choking eastern cities. When I looked for a smoke map like the one above, it was clear that gigantic fires in Canada were to blame.
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Re: Our AQI is 385
Posted by: davester
Date: July 29, 2021 05:45PM
Quote
kj
Quote
freeradical
Well, you probably have some N95 or KN95 masks lying around.

Keep in mind that you really need to use a respirator to have a good enough seal. The surgical mask type may help a little, but I wouldn't go outside with one thinking it makes it safe. There's a lot of weird stuff in this smoke.

N95 and KN95 masks are respirators and are not comparable to surgical masks. They are quite effective against high levels of woodsmoke just so long as they fit well and have a tight perimeter seal against your face. Most N95s have adjustable headbands so can be fitted accurately. However, the KN95s often only have earloops so don't fit tightly enough, or have nonadjustable headbands. This can be rectified by either: 1) tying knots in the loops to reduce their length; 2) buying inexpensive loop tighteners that slip over the loops and do the same thing as tying knots; 3) cutting the loops and tying them together so that they make a headband instead of an earloop (this may require adding an intervening section of elastic or string to account for folks with larger heads).



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/29/2021 05:48PM by davester.
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Re: Our AQI is 385
Posted by: kj
Date: July 29, 2021 06:56PM
Quote
davester
Quote
kj
Quote
freeradical
Well, you probably have some N95 or KN95 masks lying around.

Keep in mind that you really need to use a respirator to have a good enough seal. The surgical mask type may help a little, but I wouldn't go outside with one thinking it makes it safe. There's a lot of weird stuff in this smoke.

N95 and KN95 masks are respirators and are not comparable to surgical masks. They are quite effective against high levels of woodsmoke just so long as they fit well and have a tight perimeter seal against your face. Most N95s have adjustable headbands so can be fitted accurately. However, the KN95s often only have earloops so don't fit tightly enough, or have nonadjustable headbands. This can be rectified by either: 1) tying knots in the loops to reduce their length; 2) buying inexpensive loop tighteners that slip over the loops and do the same thing as tying knots; 3) cutting the loops and tying them together so that they make a headband instead of an earloop (this may require adding an intervening section of elastic or string to account for folks with larger heads).

I've read the same stuff you have. With proper fitting they are capable of 50%. That's a lot better than nothing, but Hal with his beard isn't getting that. And is it enough better? Not for me. Just something to keep in mind.
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Re: Our AQI is 385
Posted by: pdq
Date: July 30, 2021 08:44AM
Hey Speedy, you guys up there set a state record yesterday. Woot.

Seriously, hope you guys are okay. I think we’re all still under an advisory until 3 this afternoon, then they’re hoping things will be better (until tomorrow) sad smiley

I generally have a positive view of Canada, but this smoke is getting me down. I’m sure they’re not too happy about it up north of the border as well.
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Re: Our AQI is 385
Posted by: davester
Date: July 30, 2021 09:56AM
Quote
kj
Quote
davester
Quote
kj
Quote
freeradical
Well, you probably have some N95 or KN95 masks lying around.

Keep in mind that you really need to use a respirator to have a good enough seal. The surgical mask type may help a little, but I wouldn't go outside with one thinking it makes it safe. There's a lot of weird stuff in this smoke.

N95 and KN95 masks are respirators and are not comparable to surgical masks. They are quite effective against high levels of woodsmoke just so long as they fit well and have a tight perimeter seal against your face. Most N95s have adjustable headbands so can be fitted accurately. However, the KN95s often only have earloops so don't fit tightly enough, or have nonadjustable headbands. This can be rectified by either: 1) tying knots in the loops to reduce their length; 2) buying inexpensive loop tighteners that slip over the loops and do the same thing as tying knots; 3) cutting the loops and tying them together so that they make a headband instead of an earloop (this may require adding an intervening section of elastic or string to account for folks with larger heads).

I've read the same stuff you have. With proper fitting they are capable of 50%. That's a lot better than nothing, but Hal with his beard isn't getting that. And is it enough better? Not for me. Just something to keep in mind.

Sorry, but your 50% number is wrong. I work in the hazmat field and have to deal with respirator certifications and safety all the time.It's not just something "I've read". An N95 respirator properly fitted removes 95% of the target particle size (0.1 to 0.3 micron) and stops nearly as large a percentage of particles that are even smaller.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Our AQI is 385
Posted by: kj
Date: July 30, 2021 12:17PM
Quote
davester
Quote
kj
Quote
davester
Quote
kj
Quote
freeradical
Well, you probably have some N95 or KN95 masks lying around.

Keep in mind that you really need to use a respirator to have a good enough seal. The surgical mask type may help a little, but I wouldn't go outside with one thinking it makes it safe. There's a lot of weird stuff in this smoke.

N95 and KN95 masks are respirators and are not comparable to surgical masks. They are quite effective against high levels of woodsmoke just so long as they fit well and have a tight perimeter seal against your face. Most N95s have adjustable headbands so can be fitted accurately. However, the KN95s often only have earloops so don't fit tightly enough, or have nonadjustable headbands. This can be rectified by either: 1) tying knots in the loops to reduce their length; 2) buying inexpensive loop tighteners that slip over the loops and do the same thing as tying knots; 3) cutting the loops and tying them together so that they make a headband instead of an earloop (this may require adding an intervening section of elastic or string to account for folks with larger heads).

I've read the same stuff you have. With proper fitting they are capable of 50%. That's a lot better than nothing, but Hal with his beard isn't getting that. And is it enough better? Not for me. Just something to keep in mind.

Sorry, but your 50% number is wrong. I work in the hazmat field and have to deal with respirator certifications and safety all the time.It's not just something "I've read". An N95 respirator properly fitted removes 95% of the target particle size (0.1 to 0.3 micron) and stops nearly as large a percentage of particles that are even smaller.

Yes, the 50% number is wrong because it's a lot more complicated (of course). Your number is with a perfect fit. Even in a lab with manikins and glue, they don't get a perfect face seal. Add a beard, talking, grimacing, increased rate of breathing, activity, and you're not going to get 95%. Exactly what you get depends.

What do you do to test face seal? My experience (with a full face cartridge mask) is that it isn't that easy to get a good seal, and nobody out there with a N95 from amazon is doing anything to test the seal. For covid, it doesn't matter that much, but to filter particulate, it does.

You can argue none of it matters that much in the whole scheme of things. Most people could do absolutely nothing and be "fine". Personally, last year I got a heck of a lung infection due to the fire smoke, so I feel like it can be a big deal, and that most people underestimate the effects. I am only suggesting it is something to consider, and I think it is unwise to spend significant time out in 385 AQI, even with an N95 mask. Ymmv.
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Re: Our AQI is 385
Posted by: freeradical
Date: July 30, 2021 12:39PM
When I wear my KN95 masks, I can feel the sides of the masks pulling inward when I inhale. This means that I'm getting a reasonably decent seal, just like the gas masks that I wore when I was in the service. This is what they taught us to look for when checking for a seal.
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Re: Our AQI is 385
Posted by: kj
Date: July 30, 2021 02:02PM
Quote
freeradical
When I wear my KN95 masks, I can feel the sides of the masks pulling inward when I inhale. This means that I'm getting a reasonably decent seal, just like the gas masks that I wore when I was in the service. This is what they taught us to look for when checking for a seal.

Yeah, with a cartridge mask you can plug the cartridges with both hands and inhale to check the seal, which is similar, sort of. It seems that it would do that even if no air was being filtered through the actual fabric though, unless it was super unsealed. In the full face mask, you can't inhale at all if it's sealed and you cover the cartridges.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/30/2021 02:12PM by kj.
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Re: Our AQI is 385
Posted by: davester
Date: July 30, 2021 03:36PM
Quote
kj
What do you do to test face seal?

We usually test by putting a hood over the user's head and then insert and trigger a really nasty irritant smoke cartridge similar to tear gas. Believe me, you get the tiniest whiff of that and you are coughing up a storm. Yes, you are correct that you can't use a respirator safely with facial hair. That's just a non-starter and is not allowed in any place where OSHA-requirements specify respirators.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/30/2021 03:37PM by davester.
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Re: Our AQI is 385
Posted by: Speedy
Date: July 30, 2021 04:32PM
Quote
pdq
Hey Speedy, you guys up there set a state record yesterday. Woot.

Seriously, hope you guys are okay. I think we’re all still under an advisory until 3 this afternoon, then they’re hoping things will be better (until tomorrow) sad smiley

I generally have a positive view of Canada, but this smoke is getting me down. I’m sure they’re not too happy about it up north of the border as well.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner! The only record we have and it’s being the worst at something. Anyway, we are down to 168 although it is still visibly smoky out.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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