The Valley Air District is helping low-income households cope with the onslaught of chronic drought.
The agency will provide 1,500 portable air filtration units to free and low-income households in disadvantaged communities in the San Joaquin Valley.
Tulok fulfills the definition of being a disadvantaged community.
Named the “Clean Airs Pilot Program”, it includes residential versions of portable air purifiers. The cleaners — in addition to reducing the spread of germs, colds, and even the germs that cause colds — are designed to purify the air from smoke and other particles.
“The smoke from a severe wildfire can flood the valley and enter the house, causing health problems for our most vulnerable residents,” said Samir Sheikh, the district’s director general for the Air Force. “This program is designed to help families who cannot afford an indoor air purifier to protect their families during a wildfire.”
In a home with windows and doors closed and tightly closed, you can reduce the HEPA air filters provided by this program by more than 90 percent.
The use of air purifiers to create “clean air rooms” such as bedrooms allows the house to have a special place of safe indoor air quality during smoke.
The 10 worst metro areas in the country for air quality issues include Central Valley districts such as Bakerfield, Kern, Madera, Sacramento, Shasta and Bute.
Stanislaus County received a large red “F” on the report card from the American Lung Association Air Force 2022 report. The region is one of the most polluted in the country. The San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland region – which includes all of Stanislaus County – ranked the top 5 for the worst air pollution in the country in the annual pollution and short-term particle pollution categories. The worst regions for ozone.
Residents with low air quality due to wildfires should close their windows and go to a clean air conditioning area. Common fabric and paper masks used to protect against CVD-19 may not be sufficient protection against wildfire smoke.
For outdoor workers and other individuals who cannot stay indoors, state health officials recommend using a N95 face mask as much as possible.
Free air purifiers will soon be available for low-income families. Contact Grants@valleyair.org for more information.
– Christina Hacker contributed to this report.