The District is relaunching the Clean Air Rooms program providing Valley residents in many communities with FREE single-room air purifiers. The program’s primary objective is to mitigate the adverse health effects of wildfire smoke on Valley residents, focusing on the most vulnerable populations within the District.
Eligible first-time applicants residing within the boundaries of the San Joaquin Valley, specifically those in disadvantaged and low-income communities, have the opportunity to participate and receive a FREE portable air filtration unit for their homes while supplies last. This device will assist in purifying the air during periods of poor air quality caused by wildfires.
First time applicants can check their eligibility and apply for the program at valleyair.org/roompurifier. If approved, one whole room air purifier and one filter replacement will be shipped directly to their home.
“Smoke from severe wildfires can inundate the Valley and make its way into homes, causing health impacts to our most vulnerable residents,” stated Samir Sheikh, Executive Director/APCO of the Valley Air District. “This program is designed to help families who may not otherwise be able to buy an in-home air purifier to protect their families during wildfires.”
The air purifiers distributed through the program are certified by the California Air Resources Board and HEPA-rated and can reduce indoor particulate matter by over 90% in well-sealed environments. By creating a dedicated “clean air room” such as a bedroom, residents can ensure that they have a space with safe indoor air quality when smoke events occur.
Particulate matter can trigger asthma attacks, aggravate chronic bronchitis, and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Individuals with heart or lung disease should follow their doctors’ advice for dealing with episodes of PM exposure. Those with existing respiratory conditions, young children and the elderly, are especially susceptible to the health effects from this form of pollution. Residents experiencing poor air quality due to wildfire smoke should move to a filtered, air-conditioned environment with windows closed. Common cloth and paper masks being used as protection from COVID-19 may not be sufficient protection from wildfire smoke inhalation. For outdoor workers and other individuals that may not be able to remain indoors, state health authorities recommend the use of N95 facemasks as feasible.
For more information, visit www.valleyair.org or call a District office, Fresno (559-230-6000), Modesto (209-557-6400) or Bakersfield (661-392-5500).