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Characterization of Indoor and Outdoor Air Pollution Exposures and Sources

Haluk Ozkaynak, PhD, National Exposure Research Laboratory, US Environmental Protection Agency, Ariel Rios Building (MC-8601D), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W, Washington, DC 20460, 202-564-1531, ozkaynak.haluk@epa.gov

Human exposures to indoor and outdoor pollutants vary depending on the sources and concentrations of pollutants as well as human behavioral factors that determine the extent of an individualís contact with indoor or outdoor pollutants. In general, the older populations spend more time indoors, and outdoors near residences, than the rest of the population. Sources of pollutants that contribute to ambient pollution include stationary, mobile and area sources of particulates, gaseous pollutants such as, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide, and air toxics (e.g., ozone). Pollutants released outdoors also penetrate indoors, and thus, indoor microenvironments may be a significant locus of exposure for outdoor pollutants. In indoor environments, household cooking and heating sources, building materials, consumer products and human activities result in intermittent or continuous emissions of many classes of pollutants, including carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, particulate matter and biological agents. All these different indoor and outdoor sources of air pollution contribute to air pollution concentrations in microenvironments where people spend most of their time during the course of each day. Understanding the potential risks from exposures to either indoor or outdoor pollution sources requires knowledge of the physical and chemical factors that determine microenvironmental pollutant concentrations of pollutants of concern, and the time-activity patterns of individuals by age and gender category, which influence the amount of personal contact with these various pollutants. This presentation elaborates further on these exposure-related issues important to aging populations. This is an abstract of a proposed presentation and does not necessarily reflect EPA policy.

Learning Objectives:

  • Information Skils