If you weren't wearing a face mask for COVID-19, you might be tempted to wear one now given all of the wildfire pollution coming in to Montana from California, Oregon, and Washington. But when it comes to the dangers posed by wildfire smoke- the cloth face masks won't work. They won't block the smoke particles- they're too small, and they can sneak through the mask.

The other morning, I was preparing for the radio show and I spotted a story from KTVQ-TV in Billings, Montana. The story featured a doctor from Billings who was giving viewers tips about face masks and wildfire smoke. Here's the headline: "Billings doctor says COVID masks offer minimal protection from wildfire smoke."

Why do they offer minimal protection? Because the particles are too small, they can sneak right through most of the cloth face masks that people are being forced to wear. Wait a minute, I thought. Aren't virus particles even smaller than wildfire smoke particles?

Turns out, my suspicions were accurate. Later that same morning, I spotted this piece at AND Magazine which notes how the CDC is now warning people that cloth face masks will not protect against wildfire smoke. The headline continues, "But Still Insist They Protect Against Coronavirus Which Is Even Smaller Than Wildfire Particulate?"

Here's more from AND Magazine:

Coronavirus particles are .12 microns in size (or up to 1.2 microns) and the harmful particles in smoke are .4 to .7 microns.

Cororonvirus – at .12 microns in size – “is about a quarter the size of the smoke and fire debris particulate.” So if the CDC says that cloth masks won’t filter out the harmful and larger smoke particles, why do they suggest that a cloth mask is effective in filtering out the much smaller (.12 microns) coronavirus?

By the way, for those who aren't familiar with AND Magazine- it is the publication edited by former CIA Operations Officer Sam Faddis. "His last assignment prior to retirement in May of 2008 was as head of the CIA's terrorist Weapons of Mass Destruction unit."

 

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