UW News

August 6, 2021

UW expert discusses protecting workers from wildfire smoke

UW News

UW’s Marissa Baker discusses worker safety and wildfire smoke with UW News.Kiyomi Taguchi/University of Washington


With wildfire smoke forecast for next week in Seattle and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in Oregon posting rules for keeping workers safe during increasingly smoky conditions and heat in that state, we caught up with a University of Washington expert on worker safety for advice.

Check out Professor Baker’s advice on worker safety in this video.


Journalists can download the video here.

Marissa Baker, an industrial hygiene program director and assistant professor in the UW Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences, provided these insights to UW News:

“We are still living through the COVID-19 pandemic and often the advice that we are giving to keep people safe from COVID is at odds with the advice we give to keep people safe from wildfire smoke. With COVID we want as much outside air as possible inside, and with wildfire smoke we want as much outside air kept outside as possible. But the one thing that is protective against both is an N95 mask. HEPA filters and upgraded filters on ventilation systems are also protective against both,” Baker said.

For more information from Professor Baker, check out the video at left.

For more information on the hazards of wildfire smoke and how individuals can protect themselves, please check out this informational website published by UW’s Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences: “The risk is real.”