SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – The Bay Area Air Quality Management District announced today the expansion of the Clean Air Filtration Program, which will provide portable air filtration units to unhoused and low-income residents in impacted communities as well as to emergency and cooling centers Bay Area-wide.
Launched earlier this month in partnership with Regional Asthma Prevention Management, the program helped people in San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma counties.
Now the program will be expanded to Marin, Napa and Solano counties and will provide some 3,000 individuals across the Bay Area with portable indoor home air filtration units.
“The smoke that has lingered in the Bay Area this month is a poignant reminder that wildfires have become increasingly larger and more frequent, with potentially significant health impacts for the region’s residents, especially those with respiratory illnesses,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District. “The time to act to protect our most vulnerable residents is now, and the expansion of our Clean Air Filtration Program is a significant step towards achieving this important goal.”
Wildfire smoke can have immediate health impacts and trigger wheezing in those who suffer from asthma, emphysema, COPD or other respiratory conditions. During wildfires, air pollution has real and significant health consequences, even for those without pre-existing conditions.
“Poor air quality advisories are becoming standard with the growing number of wildland fires, so the expansion of the Clean Air Filtration Program is a must,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, who is also chair of the Air District Board of Directors. “Many people with respiratory issues have also lost their homes during the pandemic and are staying at shelters where these systems can now be installed. Please get more information on how to apply and updates at AirFilters@baaqmd.gov.”
Bay Area residents who don’t qualify for the Clean Air Filtration Program can still purchase their own air filtration units for about $100 to $150, and can get tips on wildfire preparation, including how to set up a ‘clean air room’ in their homes, by visiting www.baaqmd.gov/wildfiresafety.
Wildfire preparedness tips, school air quality recommendations, information on air quality data and more resources are available online.