Particulate Matter Concentrations in Residences: An Intervention Study Evaluating Stand-Alone Filters and Air Conditioners.

Particulate Matter Concentrations in Residences: An Intervention Study Evaluating Stand-Alone Filters and Air Conditioners.

Indoor Air. 2011 Dec 7;

Authors: Batterman S, Du L, Mentz G, Mukherjee B, Parker E, Godwin C, Chin JY, O’Toole A, Robins T, Rowe Z, Lewis T

Abstract
This study, a randomized controlled trial, evaluated the effectiveness of free-standing air filters and window air conditioners (ACs) in 126 low income households of children with asthma. Households were randomized into a control group, a group receiving a free-standing HEPA filter placed in the child’s sleeping area, and a group receiving the filter and a window-mounted AC. IAQ was monitored for week-long periods over three to four seasons. High concentrations of particulate matter (PM) and carbon dioxide were frequently seen. When IAQ was monitored, filters reduced PM levels in the child’s bedroom by an average of 50%. Filter use varied greatly among households and declined over time, e.g., during weeks when pollutants were monitored, filter use was initially high, averaging 84 ± 27%, but dropped to 63 ± 33% in subsequent seasons. In months when households were not visited, use averaged only 34 ± 30%. Filter effectiveness did not vary in homes with central or room ACs. The study shows that measurements over multiple seasons are needed to characterize air quality and filter performance. The effectiveness of interventions using free-standing air filters depends on occupant behavior, and strategies to ensure filter use should be an integral part of interventions.

PMID: 22145709 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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