EPA to Announce Winners of Wildfire IAQ Competition
The results of an EPA competition intended to spur development of new solutions to keep indoor air as clean as possible during periods of elevated outdoor concentrations of particulate matter will be revealed during a webinar at 2 p.m. ET on Oct. 26. The competition challenges entrants to achieve, within one hour, an 80 percent reduction in fine particular matter (PM2.5) in a room of at least 150 square feet with eight-foot ceilings and PM2.5 concentrations ranging from 35 to 300 µg/m3. Solutions entered in the competition are required to cost less than $100, operate at less than 45 decibels, and be safe to run continuously for weeks.
Found in smoke from fires, PM2.5 has been linked to ischemic heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular mortality, and other adverse health outcomes. While public health authorities recommend staying indoors in a room with filtered air to protect against wildfire smoke exposures, the costs and other limitations of current air cleaning technologies prevent their widespread adoption, according to EPA.