241355 Particulate Indoor Air Quality Assessment among Low Income Ethnic Communities in Bowling Green, Kentucky

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sandhya Bhoyar, MBBS, MPH , Department of Public Health, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY
Emmanuel A. Iyiegbuniwe, PhD , Department of Public Health, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY
Indoor air pollution poses many challenges to health professionals and is ranked by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the fourth largest environmental threat to the nation. A pilot study was conducted at selected homes of various low income ethnic communities living in subsidized housing provided by the Housing Authority of Bowling Green, Kentucky. Specifically, the study involved seven ethnic groups (US White, Eastern European, African American, Burundi, Central American, Liberian and Vietnamese). A total of 28 homes were included in the study. The study involved a detailed assessment of airborne levels of respirable particulate matter using a 6-channel, handheld particle counter (HHPC-6). The HHPC-6 is commonly used to measure, count, and report airborne particulates (size range = 0.3Ám - 0.5Ám) in clean rooms and general indoor environment. At each home, air samples were collected from four locations (living room, kitchen and two bedrooms).Additionally, for every home sampled, a representative outdoor air sample was collected for comparison. Analysis of the preliminary results of this pilot study showed higher levels of respirable particulates in all six particle sizes, for Eastern European and African American homes. The 0.3Ám particulate counts were highest in the homes of Eastern European population followed by African Americans, Liberians and Burundis. The 0.5 Ám and 0.7 Ám particulate counts were highest for the African Americans and 1 Ám, 3Ám and 7Ám particulate counts were the highest for the Central American.The lowest levels of particulate matter were recorded in Central American, Liberian, Burundi and Vietnamese homes. The results also showed higher average indoor concentrations of particulates when compared to the outdoor. These results of higher levels of fine particulates are consistent with site-specific observations of increased levels of cigarette smoking among adult occupants in Eastern European and African American homes.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences

Learning Objectives:
To assess the airborne levels of respirable particulate matter in a sample of seven ethnic groups living in selected 28 Housing Authority of Bowling Green homes.

Keywords: Immigrants, Air Quality

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have completed my Master's in Public Health and Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.