EPA Science Inventory

Health benefits of particle filtration

Citation:

Fisk, W. J. Health benefits of particle filtration. INDOOR AIR. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, (23):357-368, (2013).

Description:

This product was developed under an interagency agreement between the U.S. EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy - Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). The evidence of health benefits of particle filtration in homes and commercial buildings is reviewed. Prior reviews of papers published before 2000 are summarized. The results of 16 more recent intervention studies are compiled and analyzed. Also, reviewed are four studies that modeled health benefits of using filtration to reduce indoor exposures to particles from outdoors. Prior reviews generally concluded that particle filtration is, at best, a source of small improvements in allergy and asthma health effects; however, many early studies had weak designs. A majority of recent intervention studies employed strong designs and more of these studies report statistically significant improvements in health symptoms or objective health outcomes, particularly for subjects with allergies or asthma. The percentage improvement in health outcomes is typically modest, for example, 7% to 25%. Delivery of filtered air to the breathing zone of sleeping allergic or asthmatic persons may be more consistently effective in improving health than room air filtration. Notable are two studies that report statistically significant improvements, with filtration, in markers that predict future adverse coronary events. From modeling, the largest potential benefits of indoor particle filtration may be reductions in morbidity and mortality from reducing indoor exposures to particles from outdoor air.

Purpose/Objective:

People with allergy and asthma symptoms who reside in homes with strong sources of allergens may reduce their symptoms moderately through use of particle filtration systems in their home. Particle filtration may also help to reduce the substantial morbidity and mortality associated with indoor exposures to outdoor air particles.

URLs/Downloads:

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Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Start Date: 03/21/2013
Completion Date: 03/21/2013
Record Last Revised: 04/24/2014
Record Created: 03/05/2014
Record Released: 03/05/2014
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 270094

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF AIR AND RADIATION

OFFICE OF RADIATION AND INDOOR AIR

INDOOR ENVIRONMENTS DIVISION