At age 12, Otana Jakpor conducted a science experiment on her friends and took her results to the California Air Resources Board a year later.
She found that just two hours’ exposure to an indoor air purifier diminishes lung function. The board added her research to its evidence, and approved regulations making California the first state to restrict ozone emissions from indoor purifiers.
Otana, now 15, attributes her interest to her mother, a severe asthmatic. Since she was a child, Otana has helped her mother and tried to figure out the causes of her condition. Today, Otana works for environmental justice and awareness.
Otana has presented her research at conferences as a spokesperson for the American Lung Association, and she’s met with the head of the EPA and congressional officials to advocate national regulations for ozone emissions.