247773 Healthy Home Environment: Indoor Air Quality Assessment among Refugees in Bowling Green, Kentucky

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Shailesh Advani, MD, MPH(c) , Department of Public Health, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY
Emmanuel Afam Iyiegbuniwe, PhD , Department of Public Health, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY
Studies have shown that poor maintenance practices in low income housing may account for poor indoor air quality particularly where resources and motivation to correct problems are lacking. Indoor air quality testing was conducted in summer 2009 among refugees from Burundi, Central America, Eastern Europe, Liberia and Vietnam living in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The main objective of the study was to measure airborne levels of air quality parameters (Temperature, Relative Humidity, Dew point, Carbon Dioxide and Carbon Monoxide) in selected homes at the Bowling Green Housing Authority. Selected homes of US-Whites and African Americans in the same housing environment were included for comparison. Measurements were made with direct-reading and data logging instruments in three indoor and one outdoor locations. The results revealed that carbon dioxide levels were within the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) criterion level. Although carbon monoxide levels were generally low in most non-smoking homes, higher levels were documented in smoking homes for Eastern Europeans. Comfort parameters exceeded or were in the upper ranges of ASHRAE's recommended levels. Relative humidity levels were generally above 50% (a condition that may support microbial growth and proliferation.The levels of different parameters recorded were as follows: Carbon Dioxide (300-994ppm), relative humidity(53-67%), temperature (76-83F), carbon monoxide (0.5-2.97ppm) and dew point (61-69%). There were no significant differences in the levels of the monitored parameters in refugee homes when compared to the US-Whites and African American homes. The results of this study are very limited and representative of conditions prevalent in the monitored areas of the homes during the survey.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Environmental health sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. To assess levels of air quality parameters among homes of refugees in Bowling Green, Kentucky. 2. To compare these air level parameters with US whites and African Americans.

Keywords: Environmental Exposures, Refugees

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was involved in data collection and analysis.
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.