CU Boulder receives $1.1 million in EPA grants to reduce public exposure to wildland fire smoke

Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have been awarded $1.1 million from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for two projects to help school districts and communities reduce exposure to harmful pollution from wildland fire smoke.

CU Boulder is among nine institutions across the country receiving a combined $7 million under EPA’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program for research to address health risks from wildland fire smoke.

“As wildfires become more frequent and severe, we are working to effectively communicate the risks of smoke exposure to impacted communities,” said Wayne Cascio, acting principal deputy assistant administrator for science in EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “The research we are funding will help develop strategies to prevent and reduce the health impacts of smoke from wildfires and prescribed fires.”

Colleen Reid, assistant professor of geography and research associate at the Institute of Behavioral Science at CU Boulder, will receive $549,919 to deploy low-cost particulate matter sensors to compare indoor smoke levels in Denver-area schools and homes. The results of this effort will be used to develop health guidance for school districts and inform decisions about school closures to protect student health. Read more.