Mira Loma Village suffers from some of the highest levels of air pollution in the United States. Once primarily the home of orange groves and dairy farms, Mira Loma is now in the center of a sprawling development of warehouses and truck traffic.
As many as 15,000 tractor-trailers move in and out of the area every day bringing goods to and from Mira Loma’s warehouses. The area is also bisected by major freeways and is downwind from pollution that drifts in from Los Angeles.
The pollution takes a toll on the health of Mira Loma’s 21,000 residents. One study conducted by the University of Southern California found that the lung function of children in Mira Loma is 10-12% below the levels of children from areas with clean air. Local community activists say they have also seen increases in brain tumors, cardiovascular disease and even birth defects.
Community group leads the effort
Those conditions prompted the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ) to take action. In July of 2011, the environmental justice group based near Mira Loma filed a lawsuit against the county, the city and local developers. Not long after, California’s state attorney general joined the legal effort.
In early 2013, a settlement was reached that provided funding to help give the residents of Mira Loma Village cleaner air to breathe. All sides agreed one of the top priorities was to provide the residents of Mira Loma Village with state-of-the-art air purifiers for their homes.
Air filtration gives residents a break
The settlement provided funding for high-performance air filtration that was installed in 90 homes in the area of Mira Loma most affected by elevated pollution levels. CCAEJ turned to IQAir to provide the air filtration systems. IQAir had recently partnered with CAAEJ to provide clean-air technologies for schools and community buildings in nearby San Bernardino.
Dozens of volunteers joined CCAEJ staff to deliver the systems to Mira Loma Village residents. They went from house to house, installing two IQAir HealthPro Plus high-performance air filtration systems in each home. The residents were delighted to finally have the chance to breathe healthy air for hours every day.
"This is an important step forward," says Penny Newman, executive director of CCAEJ. "We know from our experience with air filtration in schools that these IQAir systems will make a real difference in the lives of Mira Loma Village residents."