2015 Progress Report: Indoor Exposure to Pollutants Associated with Oxidative Chemistry: Field Studies and Window-Opening BehaviorEPA Grant Number: R835751
Title: Indoor Exposure to Pollutants Associated with Oxidative Chemistry: Field Studies and Window-Opening Behavior
Investigators: Morrison, Glenn C , Ercal, Nuran , Lobo, Prem , Williams, Brent
Current Investigators: Ercal, Nuran , Morrison, Glenn C , Williams, Brent
Institution: Missouri University of Science and Technology , Washington University
EPA Project Officer: Ilacqua, Vito
Project Period: November 1, 2014 through October 31, 2017 (Extended to October 31, 2019)
Project Period Covered by this Report: November 1, 2014 through October 31,2015
Project Amount: $999,999
RFA: Indoor Air and Climate Change (2014) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , Climate Change , Air
Specific objectives are to 1) quantify chemical precursors and chemical products associated with infiltration of photochemical oxidants from ambient air in residential settings, 2) evaluate the influence of natural ventilation on indoor chemistry, and 3) quantify current residential natural ventilation behavior and its relationship to region, local climate, construction type and other site-specific phenomena. The objectives have not changed from the original proposal.
During the first year, a quality assurance/quality control and management plan was developed, reviewed by the EPA and approved. Because the project includes surveys and may also collect information from owners of homes used in field research, the project also required an institutional review board (IRB) review. This IRB review was also approved by the EPA. A substantial fraction of the first year was dedicated to developing or improving upon analytical methods to be used in field measurements. At Missouri S&T, several instruments were purchased (two ozone analyzers) and vetted, thermal desorption and derivatization methods for VOC analysis were developed or improved, weather stations were tested. At Washington University, instruments such as TAG and VAPS_AMS have been upgraded to better meet the needs of field research. A survey instrument was developed to be delivered multiple times per year (different seasons) to assess the frequency, timing and extent of window opening behavior in residences across the US. The instrument will be deployed during Years 2 and 3 of the project.
During Year 2, the project team will complete field experiments in homes in the St. Louis region. Specifically, we will measure the concentration of many gases (ozone, water, carbon dioxide, NOx, VOCs, etc.), the concentration and other characteristics of particulate matter inside and outside of one or more unoccupied homes in St. Louis and outdoor climate information (wind speed and direction, temperature, etc.). The measurements will take place over a period of up to two weeks per home and include intentional window and door opening/closing schedules. The window-opening survey will be distributed during several times to capture seasonal differences in behavior.