Video of Interest: Exploring the Impact of Wildfire Smoke on Indoor Surfaces

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Our team at the Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT) Program at UT Health San Antonio wanted to share this important video:

After the Smoke Clears: Exploring the Impact of Wildfire Smoke on Indoor Surfaces” on YouTube by the U.S. EPA.

The video provides information on the topic, “After the Smoke Clears: Exploring the Impact of Wildfire Smoke on Indoor Surfaces,” with presenter Dr. Elliott Gall, David Wedge Vision Associate Professor, Portland State University.

“Wildfire smoke events are occurring with increasing frequency, severity, and geographic extent,” according to the YouTube description. “This presentation will describe recent studies that show deposition and partitioning to indoor surfaces impacts our exposure to wildfire smoke constituents, including potentially prolonging exposure to harmful compounds after the smoke event ends.”

Watch the full video. Hat tip to Ian Cull’s monthly newsletter on indoor air quality.

This issue is important for people who suffer from chemical intolerance (CI), said Dr. Claudia Miller, allergist/immunologist, professor emeritus, and leader of the Hoffman TILT Program at UT Health San Antonio.

“During wildfires smoke particles and gases become entrained indoors. These ultrafine particles deposit on every available surface and continue to release low levels of toxic and carcinogenic gases including the carcinogens benzo-a-pyrene and dioxins,” Miller said. “The re-release of gases from carpet, upholstery, bedding, walls, etc. is referred to as ‘third-hand smoke.’ Heavy or repeated exposures can initiate Toxicant-induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT). Very low level exposures can trigger symptoms in previously ‘Tilted’ individuals.”

How can you find out if you are chemically intolerant?

Answer these three questions from Hoffman TILT’s Brief Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (BREESI):

  1. Do you feel sick when you are exposed to tobacco smoke, certain fragrances, nail polish/remover, engine exhaust, gasoline, air fresheners, pesticides, paint/thinner, fresh tar/asphalt, cleaning supplies, new carpet or furnishings? By sick, we mean: headache, difficulty thinking, difficulty breathing, weakness, dizziness, upset stomach, etc.
  2. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse or allergic reactions to any drugs or medications (such as antibiotics, anesthetics, pain relievers, X-ray contrast dye, vaccines or birth control pills), or to an implant, prosthesis, contraceptive chemical or device, or other medical/surgical/dental material or procedure?
  3. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse reactions to any foods such as dairy products, wheat, corn, eggs, caffeine, alcoholic beverages, or food additives (e.g., MSG, food dye)?

If you answer YES to any question, take the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI) and share the results with your doctor!