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Identifying Different Types of Smokes

Did you know that there are different types of smoke? The smoke released by any type of fire is a mixture of particles and chemicals produced by incomplete burning of carbon-containing materials.

The two of the major agents in smoke that can cause health problems are carbon monoxide gas and very small/fine particles (or PM2.5 – meaning these particles are two and one half (2.5) microns or less in size and are too small to be seen with the naked eye.)

Inhaling smoke, even for a short time can cause immediate health effects. It an irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, and its odor can be nauseating. Studies have shown that some people exposed to heavy smoke have temporary changes in lung function, which makes breathing more difficult. It is thus very important to avoid exposure to high levels of smoke, especially individuals with cardiovascular or respiratory conditions.

Here are a few different types of smoke. If you have any of these materials that can cause these types of smoke, be sure to store these safely to avoid accidental fires.

Wet Smoke – Wet smoke can be produced by plastics and rubbers that create low heat. It can be smoldering and produce a pungent odor.

Dry Smoke – These can come from paper and wood and is fast burning and high in temperatures. With dry some, heat rises therefore the smoke rises as well.

Protein – This is produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire. Protein smoke is virtually invisible and can discolor paints and varnishes and has an extremely pungent odor.


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