Originally Published: 08 JUN 23 10:19 ET
By Nicole Goodkind and Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN
New York (CNN) — Some of the worst air quality levels on record on the East Coast are impacting consumer shopping patterns and driving air purifier stocks higher.
People are rushing to buy air filters, humidifiers and high-quality masks on Amazon amid Canadian wildfires that have smothered large swaths of the United States in a thick plume of toxic smoke, leading to orange skies, a burnt taste in the air and advisories to stay inside.
Fine particles from the smoke can make their way indoors. Air purifiers can be helpful with filtering out the pollution.
As of Thursday morning, air filters were the top gainers in sales for tools and home improvement products on Amazon over the past 24 hours. A Leviot humidifier was the third biggest sales gainer. N95 and KN95 masks also spiked in Amazon sales rankings.
Searches on Google for air purifiers have increased 16 fold since Monday, according to Google trends. It’s still unclear when the smoke will dissipate over the United States overall, as prevailing winds push the haze around the country.
Whirlpool (WHR), one of the largest home goods manufacturers in the world, has seen its stock surge 13.2% over the past five days and by 6.4% on Wednesday alone. The company says that its HEPA purifiers can remove up to 99.97% of bad particles from air.
Shares of Carrier Global, which makes residential and industrial air purifiers and HVAC units, have gained nearly 11% over the past five days.
Johnson Controls, which has a number of air filters on the market, has also seen its stock price soar. Shares are up by 8.5% over a five-day period.
The air purifier market is poised to grow as climate change increases air pollution and exacerbates breathing difficulties. A Market Insights report forecasts that the industry is expected to grow at an annual compound rate of 10.8% to $2.9 billion by 2025 and $4.8 billion by 2030.
Outdoor air pollution could cause 6 to 9 million premature deaths a year globally by 2060 and cost $2.6 trillion annually because of sick days, increased medical bills and reduced productivity, according to an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development report.
Climate change will worsen existing air pollution and lead to more dangerous air quality days like the current one in the Northeast.
“In many regions of the United States, climate-driven changes in weather conditions, including temperature and precipitation, are expected to increase ground-level ozone and particulate matter,” such as windblown dust from droughts or smoke from wildfires, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
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