Respirator masks deemed ineffective

From staff reports

Face masks are not doing much at all for the health of those suffering from the hazy smoke that has been hovering about the Palouse for the last week.

According to the Washington Department of Health (DOH), respirator masks might actually complicate breathing efforts. They are uncomfortable and should not be used for long periods of time.

Bandanas and towels are also not suggested. They relieve dryness but do not protect lungs from wildfire smoke.

The DOH suggests that anyone who has lung or heart disease, or is chronically ill, should talk with their medical provider about the best course of action individually.

Respirator masks should not be used on young children or people with beards either, because the masks won’t seal well enough to provide any protection.

DOH has more information regarding air-quality issues and respirator mask use at

Reporting by Lance Lijewski