2016 Progress Report: Indoor Exposure to Pollutants Associated with Oxidative Chemistry: Field Studies and Window-Opening Behavior

EPA 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 , Loka, Arun Kumar Reddy , 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, 2015 through October 31,2016
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

Objective:

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.

Progress Summary:

During the second year, field research took place in St. Louis, Missouri. Continuous or semi-continuous measurements of organic compounds, ozone, NOX, aerosols, aerosol composition, temperature, humidity, air exchange rates and other parameters were collected. In general, window opening causes the composition of indoor spaces to be “more like outdoor” air. Indoor ozone increases and the composition of aerosols becomes more like the composition of outdoor aerosols. Even so, ozone is only a fraction of outdoor concentrations, and indoor aerosols still contain a large amount of indoor-sourced semi-volatile organic compounds. Indoor ozone surface chemistry is indicated by the fact that the concentration of aldehydes (indoors) tend to remain constant despite ventilation increase due to window opening.

Two surveys took place during year 2, totaling approximately 875 individual responses. During mild weather (spring, fall), up to 50 percent of respondents open windows at least once a day. Window opening in much more prevalent in the western United States than the eastern United States. Windows are open more hours during the afternoon than in the evenings, which could influence exposure to pollutants that are at a maximum in the afternoon, such as ozone. Many demographic parameters have little impact on window opening, such as gender, race, income, etc.

Future Activities:

During year 3, Task 2: Field measurements of indoor/outdoor chemistry.

We anticipate completing a second field campaign in the St. Louis region. As with the first field experiment, we intend to set up instruments in a small single-family detached residence. The field work is described in detail in the proposal, but we hope to include several new instruments that may become available. We will continue to deploy surveys throughout the first 9 months of 2017 to ensure that we have good statistics for seasonal behavior.

Supplemental Keywords:

Exposure, aerosol, ozone, house, ventilation, pollutants

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
2015 Progress Report