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Indoor Air Quality in Green-renovated vs. Non-Green Low-Income Homes of Children Living in a Temperate Region of US (Ohio)
  • Published Date:
    Mar 05 2016
  • Source:
    Sci Total Environ. 554-555:178-185.

Public Access Version Available on: June 01, 2017 information icon
Please check back on the date listed above.
  • Pubmed ID:
  • Pubmed Central ID:
  • Funding:
    P30 ES009089/ES/NIEHS NIH HHS/United States
    U01 EH000990/EH/NCEH CDC HHS/United States
  • Document Type:
  • Collection(s):
  • Description:
    Green eco-friendly housing includes approaches to reduce indoor air pollutant sources and to increase energy efficiency. Although sealing/tightening buildings can save energy and reduce the penetration of outdoor pollutants, an adverse outcome can be increased buildup of pollutants with indoor sources. The objective of this study was to determine the differences in the indoor air quality (IAQ) between green and non-green homes in low-income housing complexes. In one housing complex, apartments were renovated using green principles (n=28). Home visits were conducted immediately after the renovation, and subsequently at 6months and at 12months following the renovation. Of these homes, eight homes had pre-renovation home visits; this allowed pre- and post-renovation comparisons within the same homes. Parallel visits were conducted in non-green (control) apartments (n=14) in a nearby low-income housing complex. The IAQ assessments included PM2.5, black carbon, ultrafine particles, sulfur, total volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde, and air exchange rate. Data were analyzed using linear mixed-effects models. None of the indoor pollutant concentrations were significantly different between green and non-green homes. However, we found differences when comparing the concentrations before and after renovation. Measured immediately after renovation, indoor black carbon concentrations were significantly lower averaging 682ng/m(3) in post-renovation vs. 2364ng/m(3) in pre-renovation home visits (p=0.01). In contrast, formaldehyde concentrations were significantly higher in post-renovated (0.03ppm) than in pre-renovated homes (0.01ppm) (p=0.004). Questionnaire data showed that opening of windows occurred less frequently in homes immediately post-renovation compared to pre-renovation; this factor likely affected the levels of indoor black carbon (from outdoor sources) and formaldehyde (from indoor sources) more than the renovation status itself. To reduce IAQ problems and potentially improve health, careful selection of indoor building materials and ensuring sufficient ventilation are important for green building designs.

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