Project at a Glance

Title: HIFIVE - Health Impacts of Filtration Improvements in Elementary Schools

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Vieira, Veronica

Contractor: UC Irvine

Contract Number: 20RD015

Research Program Area: Health & Exposure

Topic Areas: Indoor Air Quality

Research Summary:

While some studies have assessed classroom filtration effectiveness in reducing air pollutant concentrations and a substantial body of scientific evidence supports the link between criteria air pollutant exposure and child respiratory dysfunction, there is little direct evidence available for estimating the health benefits of air filtration improvements in schools. Moreover, asthma is a significant public health concern, especially among children living in many communities with disproportionally high exposures to particulate matter (PM). The proposed study will provide air filtration interventions in up to 30 elementary schools in an AB 617 community in the Southern California region and investigate the possible benefits directly associated with PM2.5 exposure reduction through these interventions. The proposed air filtration interventions include panel filter upgrades for existing Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems or portable high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter air purifiers for each classroom. Classrooms will be randomized using a crossover randomized controlled trail. In this design, each classroom gets the intervention, but during different terms of the school year. At each school, air quality sensors that measure real-time PM2.5 concentrations will be installed both indoors and outdoors to monitor air quality. In addition, 300 asthmatic students from classrooms with indoor air quality sensors will be recruited to longitudinally assess allergy and respiratory symptoms. The analysis of these students will provide direct associations between measured exposure values and health outcomes at the individual level. The results from this study will provide data on health benefits of filtration in elementary schools in order to fulfill the accountability reporting requirements of the incentive program in a vulnerable community selected pursuant to AB 617. The results from the proposed crossover randomized controlled trial will assess direct health impacts associated with PM2.5 levels that can be generalized to other AB 617 communities with similar exposure levels.

For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Research Division staff at (916) 445-0753

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