Seattle Clean-Air Shelters to Provide Relief to Residents
Seattle plans to open public clean-air shelters later this month to give residents a reprieve from the air pollution that blankets the city during wildfires in the region, writes Halley Golden:
The pilot program will outfit five public buildings with high-tech filtration systems that screen out smoke and toxins. The buildings will also be equipped with detection systems to keep tabs on how clean the indoor and outdoor air is, and air doors at entrances to push dirty air away.
The selected sites are in areas where residents are less likely to have filtration systems in their homes. Seattle officials are anticipating more smoky days in the future, and the shelters will help protect the city’s most vulnerable residents. But as climate change threats and impacts grow, more facilities will likely be necessary.
"The majority of homes in the city—known for its mild weather—don’t have air conditioning. And lately, temperatures have been on the rise, while smoky days have become more frequent. That means the standard advice to keep windows and doors closed when there’s bad air outside is not always going to be feasible, given the heat," notes Golden.