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Local News

State Extends Program Offering Free Air Purifiers to K-12 Schools

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by Kyle Davidson, Michigan Advance
July 28, 2023

As part of its MI Safe School Indoor Air Ventilation program, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will continue to offer free air purifiers to K-12 schools in the state. 

Schools can request purifiers online through the MI Safe Schools Indoor Air Ventilation Program Request Form.

The program started in December 2022 as part of the DHHS’s effort to improve air quality in schools. Since its launch the DHHS has provided more than 42,600 air purification machines to 451 school districts across the state at no cost. 

“Air purifiers are another tool in our toolbox to improve air quality and help prevent the spread of illness while at school, as well as provide additional protection from allergens and wildfire smoke,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, DHHS chief medical executive. “MDHHS is excited to offer the air ventilation and purification program to our schools. Staying healthy leads to better academic outcomes as well as social and emotional well-being.”

In May, the Centers for Disease Control updated their guidelines for air exchanges in schools, setting a goal of five air changes per hour. DHHS is extending its indoor air ventilation program so schools that have participated can receive more machines to meet the new recommendations, and so schools that have not can incorporate air purifiers into their building’s air quality strategy.

According to a statement from the department, the portable air purifiers may be used in classrooms and other communal areas to reduce the number of harmful microbes and allergens in the atmosphere.

The air purifiers provided by the Department are equipped to help protect users from COVID-19 and wildfire smoke, trapping 99.9% of harmful particles like smoke, allergens, odors, VOCs, pollen, pet dander, dust, smog and other contaminants down to 0.1 microns, according to Chelsea Wuth, associate public information officer for DHHS. 

Schools are able to order as many purifiers as needed for their building and are available to all public and private K-12 schools while supplies last. 

“We encourage more schools to keep their facilities’ air healthy and clean by taking advantage of this opportunity for free air purifiers,” said State Superintendent Michael Rice. “Parents will be able to breathe easier knowing that their children are learning in healthier environments.”

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