how big is forest fire smoke dust

How Big is Smoke Dust

The smoke eventually falls to earth as fine dust. Dust from smoke can be as small as 1nm (nano micron)

Not all Smoke is equal

  • Smoke dust from natural materials 0.01micron to 0.1micron
  • Smoke dust from artificial materials 1micron to 50microns

What is Smoke?

Smoke contains gases and minute particles. The size of the smoke dust will depend on the burnt material. The moisture is evaporated carrying some toxins in the water droplets. The intensity of the fire will also have an effect on the size of the particles. 

These particles can contain carcinogens such as Formaldehyde gas and Benzene. 

Smoke dust can contain

  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • water vapour
  • traces of minerals
  • carbon dioxide
  • carbon monoxide
  • Acrolein
  • Formaldehyde
  • Benzene

Wildfire smoke

Smoke dust is the result of burning wood for heat but also it can be the result of terrifying wildfires.  The dust from smoke is so small you need an electron microscope to see the tiny particles. These 

how big is forest fire smoke dust under electron microscope

Every year we witness the devastation of over 906 hectares of forest to wildfires. Sadly in 2020, the wildfires are still burning and have already turned 51% more forest into carbon.

Smoke can contain toxins

Toxic smoke not only prevents humans the ability to breath easily but it can cause disease.

Respiratory diseases can be caused by or exasperated by the inhalation of fine dust. Fine dust from smoke is so small that it can pass through our normal defences.  

Can we filter out small smoke dust particles?

You can purchase HEPA activated carbon filters for household use that can filter smoke dust down to 3 microns. Some Smoke dust will pass through the filter but the large percentage of smoke dust will be trapped by the filter.

Even Smoke dust smaller than 3 microns could be captured. This is possible because the finer particles clump together to create larger particles. 

I have a stand-alone Air Purifier in my home which we are very happy with. The model of air purifier I recommend is the Levoit lv-h133 for a large space or the Levoit lv-h132 for a small room. In our experience, this Air purifier removes the smell of smoke and animal odours.

EPA website on outdoor particulate information

Our recommendation for a good reliable HEPA Filter Vacuum

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