Summer in Australia. Of BBQs and beaches, backyard cricket and blistering heat. And it is the blistering heat that is the cause of one of Australia’s most dangerous by-products of our brilliant summers: bush fires.
Bush fires in Australia are all too common. It is estimated that there are between 45,000 and 60,000 bush fires in Australia each year. OF course, these bush fires vary in their ferocity and damage. And often they are the result of controlled burning to mitigate the potential damage of uncontrolled bush fires.
It is these uncontrolled bush fires that Australians are most concerned with and unfortunately only too knowledgeable about. In recent years we have had the catastrophic bush fire events of the Black Saturday bush fires in Victoria in 2009 and the 2019/20 bushfires that affected large swathes of South-Eastern Australia.
One of the often-under-reported effects of bush fire is the impact bush fire smoke has on air quality and the impacts that can have on human health. According to the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, bush fire smoke “comes from burning forests, trees and grass. It contains many different substances, from ash and particles we can see, to much smaller particles and gases. Very small particles (measured as PM2.5) in the smoke are invisible, but can affect our health as they are inhaled deeper into the lungs.”
So how do we treat bush fire smoke in how homes and businesses? Due to the fact smoke is a collection of tiny particles and our homes and businesses have ventilation that allow the transfer of air from the outside to indoors, it’s nearly impossible to prevent all outside air from entering, as it can seep through walls, ceilings, and electrical outlets.
However, air purifiers can be an extremely effective way to combat this problem. So, what is the best air purifier for smoke?