Cleaner Indoor Air During Wildfires: Phase 2

$100,000 USD

Challenge overview


Fine particulate matter (PM2.5), a major pollutant found in smoke from fires, has been linked to respiratory and cardiovascular health effects including ischemic heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular mortality, and exacerbations of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Current public health advice for protection from smoke exposure during wildfires is to stay indoors, preferably in a “clean room” with filtered air, close windows and doors, and minimize physical exertion. However, current air cleaning technologies for indoor air have multiple limitations that prevent their widespread use and adoption, including the cost of purchase, operation, and maintenance as well as dependence on electrical power, which can be disrupted by wildfires or rolling blackouts. In addition, wildfires often occur in the summer and early fall in regions of the United States where many homes do not have air conditioning, so closing windows can lead to very high indoor temperatures.

EPA is partnering with 10 federal, state, tribal and local organizations[1] to stimulate the development of new technologies to clean indoor air.

[1] US Department of State, Bureau of Medical Services; US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Environmental Health and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; U.S National Institute of Standards and Technology; Hoopa Valley Tribe; California Air Resources Board; Oregon Health Authority; Missoula City-County Health Department; Puget Sound Clean Air Agency; Lane Regional Air Protection Agency


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