With the tragic events currently unfolding across Australia, ordinary everyday Australians are suffering in many ways. We at Absafe would like to express our sorrow and support.
So, firstly we're making a donation for every sale of disposable respirators from our shop website during January. A portion of your purchases will go directly to help the official Bushfire Relief Fund, for Aussies who are directly affected.
What is the smoke hazard?
Aussies who are not directly affected by fire, can still be affected by the smoke, due to inhaling dusts, fine ash, and smoke particles. The Victorian Government* has predicted "very poor to hazardous air quality", and said most people could expect to experience smoke symptoms such as a cough, nose, throat and eye irritation. Similar warnings are in place in some other states and territories also.
In Victoria, you can check your current and predicted air quality at the EPA AirWatch website.
Official government advice is firstly to avoid smoke. You could stay indoors and keep windows, doors, and external vents closed. If necessary and safe, travel to an air-conditioned location such as a shopping mall or government building. If that is not possible or additional protection is required for comfort**, you may consider a respirator. One of the ways we can help is with expert advice and supply of respirators for smoke.
Follow these tips for best results:
P2 Respirator Types:
DO Use a "P2" filter or respirator/mask:
Remember other potential hazardsA P2 respirator will remove dust/ash particles, but won't protect against:
Check your fit
For convenience/comfort use (not work or medical conditions**), it's important to know:
More information at NSW Health: how to Fit a P2 Mask (for smoke)
Here's what 3M says - they're one of the biggest manufacturers of P2/N95 respirators, and of dust masks:
*(6-Jan-2020, Victoria Chief Health Officer and EPA Chief Environmental Scientist)
**For workplace use, the user should always be professionally fit-tested, and take into account the hazards in the environment such as concentration, extended exposure, etc.
If you have a health issue, follow the advice of your medical practitioner. If you feel uncomfortable or unwell seek medical advice immediately. P2 Masks are not suitable for people with existing breathing difficulties, pregnant women, nor children.
COVID-19 can be spread by someone even when they are asymptomatic. By covering your mouth and nose with a mask, you are protecting others. Did you know: If you get the flu, you are expected to spread it to 14 people; if you get COVID-19 this number increases to the 1000’s – that’s how easily it can spread. Face masks can prevent that from happening.