As wildfire smoke chokes the West Coast, people are making DIY air purifiers. But do they work?

As wildfire smoke chokes the West Coast, people are making DIY air purifiers. But do they work?

Do-it-yourself culture usually involves hobbyists tinkering around as a means of creating a fun diversion: Making jam, knitting, or building furniture, perhaps. But as the West Coast chokes in apocalyptic wildfire smoke, a more dystopian hobbyist project has been gaining traction. Google searches for "DIY air purifier" skyrocketed in the last month, a majority of them from California, Oregon and Washington. Search the hashtag #diyairpurifier on Instagram and Twitter, and you'll find photos of hacked-together box fans and filtration tools. Unlike baking your own bread, building your own air purifier is a project many are turning to as a means of survival, as the air quality index (AQI) has lingered in the "hazardous" range for days or even weeks for many West Coast citizens. And in cities like Portland, the descent of the wildfire smoke made industrial air filtration appliances hard to find, as residents bought out local supplies. Roxy Rosen, who lives in Pacifica, California, built her own air purifier and posted about it on Instagram. In an interview with Salon, she said she turned to the project because she found that commercial air purifiers didn't work as well. After Rosen bought an air sensor to see herself what the air quality in her neighborhood and house was like, she found that commercial ones weren't working. "I tried a Honeywell, a Molekule, a little tiny mini air purifier and they couldn't really do a good job, and then I did more research," Rosen told Salon. "I ended up getting the ...
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