Steps to Manage Smoke and Air Toxins

I’ve recently received emails from people taking the Optimize Your Immune Health course on how to best approach the toxic air around us. The air has obviously gotten worse with the 3 major groups of fires surrounding the San Francisco Bay Area. We had covered detoxification extensively in the 4th module of the course with everyone doing the 14-day detoxification program. I wanted to share a few minutes of our discussion during Saturday’s course addressing the question of what steps to take with the smoke and toxic air.

I want to talk just for a few minutes about a question on air pollution, air toxins, and things like that from one of the emails.  I thought that all of you would benefit from this information.  So this is the current situation as of August 22nd at 9 a.m. We have had wildfires in California,  I think that at one point there were over 20 major fires within a 72-hour window of time. Presently there are 3 large groups of fire surrounding the San Francisco Bay area.   Obviously, with the air quality index at the present time of 157,  we would not want to go outside to walk.  The containment of the CZU  fire is only 10% contained at this point so it’s spreading out a lot of these toxic fumes in this whole area. You can see all this redness. There are two valleys; here is the Central Valley and then there’s the San Ramon Valley as well and it’s all in the red zone. Red means it’s an area of unhealthy air and you can go to this website called airnow and I’ll give you the website in a minute so you want to track what the air quality is like in your area.

Obviously you don’t want to be outside exercising right now. The purple is really bad and I’ll show you what these different colors mean in a second.   Orange is unhealthy for sensitive groups so people that have asthma, other respiratory illnesses and young children would be affected the most. If you go to  you can select a meter to show the air quality in your area or an interactive map to show the air quality in and around your area or you have the choice of selecting to show where the active fires are.  Right now I wouldn’t go outside and do any activities while the red zone is showing up in the San Ramon Valley area and the Central Valley. If you do have to go out,  you may use a  particulate respirator the same as n95 but there may be problems with a tight secure fit;   when you place the mask on, you should not be able to smell anything.  If it doesn’t really fit that well then some people (they can still smell perfume or peppermint for example), and so the best option is obviously staying indoors.

I’ll mention our Biotransform product here because it helps maximize your liver function and thus your body’s detoxification pathways to get rid of some of these toxins. Let me go through some of indoor things that you could do that are helpful. You should be keeping all your doors and windows closed, vacuum frequently with a HEPA filter. You may keep some indoor plants which may help you maintain a healthier indoor environment.  Using HEPA filters like an Austin Air Healthmate plus or equivalent filter may be helpful. An air conditioner is a good way to help circulate air in your home as long as you keep the filters clean.

Essential oils such as  lavender and peppermint oil can actually help calm you and they can support your immune system as well. Daily Epsom salt baths to support detoxification and enhance magnesium and glutathione levels is also helpful. Taking Liposomal glutathione  is a great way to support respiratory and immune health and aid in detoxification. Our pharmaceutical-grade Liposomal glutathione is an excellent choice for an acute measure to help detoxify a lot of the toxins as structures burn down;  there are plastics and you can get exposed to all kinds of other toxins beyond just the smoke and particles from burnt woods.  Taking extra magnesium such as our MagComPLEX, especially if you have asthma will support lung health and reduce bronchospasm and wheezing. There are nine different forms of magnesium. You want to make sure you are taking the right types of magnesium in a highly absorbable formulation (such as our AFH MagComPLEX).

Using essential oils can support detoxification, immune, and respiratory health. Consuming more phytonutrients I showed you that in a previous chart helps reduce inflammation and oxidative stress and support detoxification.  Reducing inflammatory sugars and simple carbohydrates if you haven’t already done so, can decrease spikes in food sugar raising insulin and cortisol leading to inflammation.   Probiotics help balance the immune system in the gut where 70% of the immune system resides. The microbiome also plays a key role in detoxification. Our line of probiotics have all been studied extensively in research centers with journal article references.  Each dose of our pharmaceutical-grade probiotics are also vacuum-sealed and does not require refrigeration.

Regular exercise and sweat is an essential part of detoxification as well. If you have a treadmill or infrared sauna you can safely sweat indoors if the air quality remains poor. If you don’t have a sauna but have a  sunroom or something like that you can place an air filter and sweat toxins out in your sunroom.  It’s important to stay hydrated to ensure optimal urine and stool output during times of high toxic exposure.

Get 7-8 hours of sleep daily.  Eat organic and use resources like the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list that gets routinely updated online. Lastly, managing stress in a healthy way will lower your cortisol levels, decrease inflammation, and allow the energy from your mitochondria to be directed towards detoxification.

For more information on AFH pharmaceutical grade glutathione, Vitamin D&K, Zinc Active, Natural Allergy Support (use for food intolerances as well ), MitoMax, or other immune-boosting tips please see the blogs on

If you have comments, questions, or want to learn how functional medicine can help with improving your brain and immune function call our office or email Stay healthy and take care.

Now is a good time to take advantage of the extra time you are spending at home to do the 7 or 14 days GI Reset / Detoxification Program.   Please call our office to schedule a telephone or telemedicine video chat consultation.

We now offer online functional medicine assessment, HIPPA compliant video or phone telehealth visits, and in-home functional lab kits that you can mail back directly to the laboratories. We can work together to address your health challenges in the comfort and safety of your home during COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Jeffrey Mark, M.D. 

Jeffrey Mark, M.D.

Helping clients with compassionate and comprehensive medical care for over 25 years with 4 board certifications in functional medicine, gastroenterology, internal medicine, and anti-aging/ regenerative medicine . IFMCP, ABIM Gastroenterology, NPAS Internal Medicine, ABAARM.