As California continues battling the Dixie Fire, the U.S. government is funding research to improve adverse health effects caused by wildfire smoke. (Courtesy Cal Fire)

As California continues battling the Dixie Fire, the U.S. government is funding research to improve adverse health effects caused by wildfire smoke. (Courtesy Cal Fire)

EPA grants nearly $3 million to fund Bay Area wildfire smoke research

Three Bay Area research projects will share nearly $3 million in federal grants to study how people can reduce their exposure to toxic wildfire smoke, according to an announcement Wednesday from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University and Oakland-based Public Health Institute were awarded nearly $1 million each by the EPA to complete three separate research projects.

Researchers at the Public Health Institute are working to develop affordable air filters for rooftop evaporative coolers, or “swamp” coolers, aimed initially at farmworker communities in the San Joaquin Valley.

Stanford is using a smartphone app built from EPA’s Smoke Sense platform to identify affordable ways to reduce health impacts from smoke exposure for low-income, non-English speaking communities in Northern California.

UC Berkeley researchers are working to build “a more precise model of wildfire smoke risk data for California” and to develop communication strategies for hard-to-reach populations in order to better protect people from wildfire smoke.

The grants are part of a $7 million round of EPA awards given to 10 research projects around the country, all aimed at finding ways to reduce the impacts of wildfire smoke on people’s health.

More information about the projects can be found at: epa.gov/research-grants/interventions-and-communication-strategies-reduce-health-risks-wildland-fire-0

Bay Area NewsCaliforniapublic healthwildfire smokeWildfires

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