Clean Air Project banner.png
Project Description
What is the Scope and Ask of this Project?
Why Are We Doing this?
Why Are We Giving this to Community Organizations for Free?
Which HEPA Air Purifiers Are We Providing?
How Did We Select These Air Purifiers?
Who is Funding this Project?
How are we Measuring the Impact of this Project?
References

Project Description

Everyone has the right to breathe clean, healthy air.

The CMCTF has launched the Clean Air Project, a program providing free HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) portable air purifiers to mosques, Islamic schools and Muslim community spaces across Canada.

We piloted the project, complete with qualitative and quantitative assessments, at various sites in early 2022. Our pilot study confirmed that the ventilation in these indoor spaces was suboptimal, resulting in poor indoor air quality in these settings. After the installation of the HEPA air purifiers, these sites saw improved air quality, ventilation indicators and site/community satisfaction with the HEPA air purifiers. After refining the implementation process through the pilot phase, we are now expanding the project to include a greater number of mosques, Islamic schools and community spaces across Canada. 

What is the Scope and Ask of this Project?

We are looking to fundraise $75,000 to help provide clean air every day to over 6,000 Canadians in high-priority neighborhoods, across 84 classrooms, 13 prayer halls, and 15 community spaces. Many of these sites have already started receiving their units and deliveries are expected to be completed by mid-October 2022.

Every cent donated will go directly towards purchasing HEPA air purifiers without any administrative costs. 

 

  • $12 provides clean air every single day for one person - be it a child in a classroom or an elderly person in a public indoor space - for years!

  • $380 buys 1 small HEPA air purifier, providing clean air every single day for 1 small classroom, prayer area, or community space (upto 550 sqft) - for years!

  • $750 buys 1 medium HEPA air purifier, providing clean air every single day for 1 large classroom, prayer area, or community space (upto 1500 sqft) - for years!

  • $900 buys 1 large HEPA air purifier, providing clean air every single day for 1 extra-large prayer area, gym, or community space (upto 2500 sqft) - for years!

 

All donations via LaunchGood are eligible for charitable donation tax receipts which will be issued directly by Islamic Relief Canada, one of Canada's largest charities and a key partner on this project.

Why Are We Doing This?

  1. To reduce systemic barriers in upgrading ventilation at Canadian Muslim institutions. Unlike thousands of public schools and institutions, Islamic schools and mosques in Canada did not receive upfront funding or portable HEPA air purifiers from governments to improve their air quality and ventilation. Confidential internal surveys have shown that the majority of these institutions have not had the opportunity to have their existing ventilation systems inspected or upgraded over the past 2.5 years. This project fills the gap of children studying in Islamic schools, worshippers praying at mosques, and community members visiting public spaces in these institutions that also deserve to be afforded well-ventilated and clean air spaces.
     

  2. Indoor air pollution and poor indoor air quality are associated with adverse health effects, including eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, heart disease, lung disease, and cancer.
     

  3. Many indoor public settings, including schools, are chronically underventilated; this is especially true if they are located within plazas or occupy basement spaces. Children spend six to eight hours a day in school, and community members may spend extended periods of time, multiple times a day, in mosques and community spaces for prayers, meetings and other gatherings. 
     

  4. Improving indoor ventilation has positive health and performance benefits. Improved ventilation and air quality reduces: indoor air pollution, the development of symptoms and disease, the spread of germs and allergens; and, it improves cognitive performance, productivity and sleep. Students benefit with better test scores in subjects like math, science and reading/language, improved cognitive function, reduced asthma symptoms, and fewer school absences occur due to a decrease in allergens and germs in the air.  
     

  5. To reduce the spread of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19. Improving indoor ventilation is a critical and evidence-based layer of protection that can effectively reduce the spread of respiratory viruses, including the SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for COVID-19.
     

  6. Other effective layers of protection are no longer being implemented reliably. While wearing a mask, amongst other public health measures, continues to strongly be recommended, the lack of supporting government mandates, lifting of isolation requirements and testing limitations has resulted in less adherence to effective infection control measures, increasing the risk of spread.
     

  7. It is our responsibility to create safe spaces for our most vulnerable. Environmental control measures and interventions such as with this project, help create safer indoor spaces for vulnerable community members, including school-going children, the elderly, and individuals with underlying health issues. This is crucial as we look positively towards returning to our pre-pandemic normal lives.
     

  8. To prepare for future waves of respiratory viruses. We have been through seven waves of the COVID-19 pandemic so far. With more waves possible (and forecasted), along with flu season each fall and winter, we hope these indoor ventilation upgrades will reduce the spread of germs and provide clean air for years to come. This will result in less sickness, outbreaks and interruptions to our schooling and daily lives. 
     

  9. There is already a precedent for Muslim institutions to champion indoor air quality. The Masjid Al-Haram (holy mosque) in Makkah, Saudi Arabia has invested millions of dollars over the years to optimize indoor air quality and ventilation - not just due to COVID-19, but also prior to the pandemic given the health effects of poor indoor air quality.
     

  10. Portable HEPA air purifiers are cost-effective. Setting up portable HEPA air purifiers is a cheaper and more cost-effective way to improve indoor air quality, than upgrading an institution’s entire HVAC system.
     

  11. Institutions also benefit from improved indoor air quality. A Harvard study showed that doubling ventilation rates to improve air quality-associated performance decline is worth $6,500 per person per year. This is just related to performance, and does not include lost productivity due to sick-days or ‘sick building syndrome’ symptoms. Through the Clean Air Project, this will cost just $12 per person, with benefits lasting for many years!
     

  12. Bulk purchases allow for greater discounts and downstream impact. By purchasing HEPA air purifiers in bulk and given the aims of this project, we are able to negotiate discounts, thereby reducing the cost of the project and allowing more sites and community members to benefit.
     

  13. Showcasing the community’s visionary leadership. As with all of our initiatives, this project takes the most updated scientific evidence and readily implements it at the community level for timely, effective, equitable, and long-lasting impact. We also hope this serves as a positive example for other community task forces and organizations.

 

Why Are We Giving this to Community Organizations for Free?

In the era or rising costs of living and inflationary operational pressures, community organizations and Islamic schools have numerous expenses they need to meet in order to remain sustainable.

 

A limited understanding or appreciation of the evidence behind this effective intervention may result in less proactive action and investments in ventilation upgrades. In order to make sure this intervention was not cost prohibitive or burdensome on these institutions, and in order to minimize implementation barriers for the benefit of community members, the CMCTF has taken on the responsibility to identify the appropriate number and type of HEPA purifiers, placing orders, and having them delivered directly to these recipient organizations at no cost. Just like access to healthcare and education should be free, so too should the right to breathe clean air.

Through the Clean Air Project, institutions are provided HEPA air purifiers for free so that there are no upfront costs to them, however they are responsible for maintenance and costs of changing the air filters regularly (e.g. every 6 months as per specifications), so that the benefits last for years to come.

How Are Sites Selected?

Implementation sites are selected and prioritized based on a number of factors, including:

  • All mosques, Islamic schools and community spaces across Canada were invited to express an interest in participating in the program, and sites were selected amongst respondents.

  • Sites that were reachable to confirm details and therefore most likely to successfully and reliably implement the intervention, including follow-up requirements.

  • Sites situated within high-priority neighbourhoods – those with a historically high burden of COVID-19 case rates based on public health data and within lower socioeconomic communities.

  • Self-disclosed information from sites regarding size, frequency and density of gatherings, size, existing ventilation and purpose of space used, estimated community COVID-19 vaccination uptake rates and history of previous outbreaks.

 

Which HEPA Air Purifiers are We Providing?

 

The Clean Air Project is distributing three different types of HEPA air purifiers, depending on site requirements:

How Did We Select these HEPA Air Purifiers?

The 3 HEPA air purifiers were selected based on the following factors:

  • HEPA 13+ filtration

  • Appropriate function for the dimensions of the space required

  • Highest ratings based on a combination of independent reports, websites, and customer reviews

  • Demonstrated ability to improve clearance of SARS-CoV-2 from the air

  • Air exchanges and CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate)

  • Cost

  • Noise

  • Warranty

Who is Funding this Project?

In order to provide these portable HEPA air purifiers for free to the host sites, and as the primary funding partner of the CMCTF, Islamic Relief Canada has graciously agreed to pay for these costs up front.

 

We are also grateful to the three HEPA air purifier manufacturers for discounts they have provided in support of the Clean Air Project.

 

We are counting on your support and donations to help pay for these portable HEPA air purifiers in mosques, Islamic schools and community spaces. 

 

For every $12 donated, one child or community member will breathe clean indoor air and benefit multiple magnitudes over - not just for one month or one year, but for years to come!

 

Every cent donated will go directly towards purchasing portable HEPA air purifiers. Any administrative work is either volunteered or already covered by Islamic Relief Canada.

 

The more we are able to fundraise, the more mosques, Islamic schools, and community spaces we are able to help through this project.

How are we Measuring the Impact of this Project?

 

Both through the pilot, and this expanded phase of the project, we perform follow-up site visits, in order to:

  • Ensure that HEPA air purifier units have been received, are in working order, and are placed in the appropriate spaces

  • Troubleshoot any issues

  • Conduct a qualitative site survey

  • Perform quantitative measurements of air quality with and without the HEPA air purifiers

References and Further Reading

Ventilation in Buildings | CDC

Guidance for building operations during the COVID-19 pandemic (ASHRAE)

The Lancet Commission Report - Vaniman

ASHRAE EPIDEMIC TASK FORCE - FILTRATION & DISINFECTION

 

ASHRAE EPIDEMIC TASK FORCE Core Recommendations for Reducing Airborne Infectious Aerosol Exposure

 

In Room Air Cleaner Guidance for Reducing COVID19 in Air in Your Space/Room

EPA - Clean Air in Buildings Challenge

 

Use of Portable Air Cleaners and Transmission of COVID-19 - Public Health Ontario

 

COVID-19: Guidance on indoor ventilation during the pandemic - Canada.ca

 

Designing infectious disease resilience into school buildings through improvements to ventilation and air cleaning

 

Portable HEPA Purifiers to Eliminate Airborne SARS-CoV-2: A Systematic Review - David T. Liu, Katie M. Phillips, Marlene M. Speth, Gerold Besser, Christian A. Mueller, Ahmad R. Sedaghat, 2022

 

Indoor Air Changes and Potential Implications for SARS-CoV-2 Transmission | Environmental Health | JAMA

Airborne transmission of respiratory viruses | Science

 

Efficacy of Portable Air Cleaners and Masking for Reducing Indoor Exposure to Simulated Exhaled SARS-CoV-2 Aerosols — United States,

2021 | MMWR

Reducing SARS-CoV-2 in Shared Indoor Air | Infectious Diseases | JAMA

Effectiveness of HEPA Filters at Removing Infectious SARS-CoV-2 from the Air | mSphere

3 Significant Benefits of HEPA Filters - Sante Group

Efficacy of Portable Air Cleaners and Masking for Reducing Indoor Exposure to Simulated Exhaled SARS-CoV-2 Aerosols - United States, 2021

Italian study shows ventilation can cut school COVID cases by 82%

If We're Going to Live With COVID-19, It's Time to Clean Our Indoor Air Properly

SARS-CoV-2 aerosol transmission in schools: the effectiveness of different interventions

The 8 Best Air Purifiers of 2022 | Reviews by Wirecutter

Curbing COVID-19 in schools: Imperial scientists support CO2 monitor rollout

blueair-blue-pure-211-auto-100-120v-pac-4d6065a2-646e-4ae5-9276-98d4e7031694.jpg

spaces up to 550 sqft

$380

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spaces up to 1500 sqft

 

$750

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spaces up to 2500 sqft

 

$900