(June News) In 2018, thanks to a generous donor, we distributed 50 indoor air filters to families and individuals. Our advocates have been calling these neighbors to learn how the air filters worked for them, and so far, with half the recipients reached, 100% report using their filter and finding some kind of improvement in their physical symptoms, the cleanliness of their house, or their sense of well-being.
“You could not see all the way across our house, that's how bad it was. We loved getting the air filter. We so appreciated that they were donated, they are very expensive and we noticed a huge difference in our home and our health. My partner was having breathing problems and we noticed a difference as soon as we started using the filter. We have two kids and we could have used another filter in the house. You wouldn't believe how much stuff came out of the one we had every time I cleaned it!”
Here are some other ways we know wildfire smoke can affect our community::
Chronic Stress Response: Our physiology cannot maintain a “fight or flight” response over days or weeks without impact.
Eco-anxiety (solastalgia): Our environment changing in ways that are beyond our control can cause cause persistent distress.
Isolation: Without our access to our usual social networks and favorite outdoor activities, a sense of isolation is common. There is a compounding effect for individuals already isolated by mental illness, age, or other vulnerabilities.
Uncontrolled and Inequitable Exposures: Outdoor workers often have no options but to be exposed to smoke, and others live and work in un-airconditioned or unfiltered indoor air spaces.
Constrained Agency: When others with means, connections, and flexible jobs can leave the area, it can highlight how limited the choices are for low-income or working class families.