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New Jersey stores selling out of air purifiers as wildfire smoke continues to affect air quality

NJ stores sell out of air purifiers as smoke affects air quality
NJ stores sell out of air purifiers as smoke affects air quality 02:08

GARWOOD, N.J. -- New Jersey residents have been flooding stores to buy air purifiers because, as we saw Wednesday, the smell of smoke was seeping into some homes, but they were finding Thursday that many places are out of them.

"It's 2-feet-high air purifier. It cleans air. My son has asthma, my daughter has asthma, so we put it in the hallway. It helps us out," Clark resident Frank Williams said.

Williams was glad he bought air purifiers during the pandemic because at the Home Depot in Garwood, the shelves were empty after the store sold out Wednesday.

Williams is taking other precautions, too.

"Windows closed, kids inside. We handed out masks when they left the school, and a lot of them wore masks to school today," he said.

"All of our classrooms do have two air purifiers. We had them on yesterday," said Kelly McHugh, a teacher in Elizabeth.

Her kids say the smoke from the Canada wildfires have been upsetting and eerie at school.

"The sky kind of looked green, and we also had indoor recess ... and it was just weird because the blinds were all open. So, it didn't smell like smoke, but some classrooms had to go downstairs 'cause it smelled really bad, like smoke," Autumn McHugh said.

New Jersey's health officials say children are particularly vulnerable to wildfire smoke because they breathe in more air relative to their size.

They're also urging everyone to remain vigilant by wearing masks outdoors at least through Friday.

"Remember to stay indoors if you can. Close all windows, doors and openings. Place your air conditioner to recirculate if possible," New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said.

The governor is keeping air quality alerts in place, saying the air outside is still unhealthy.

"Everyone should try and limit their time outdoors today and avoid strenuous activities," Gov. Phil Murphy said.

The governor says he's keeping the Air Quality Alert in place through Friday.

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