2016 Progress Report: Determinants of Indoor and Outdoor Exposure to Ozone and Extreme Heat in a Warming Climate and the Health Risks for an Aging Population

EPA Grant Number: R835754
Title: Determinants of Indoor and Outdoor Exposure to Ozone and Extreme Heat in a Warming Climate and the Health Risks for an Aging Population
Investigators: Sailor, David J , Banerjee, Deborah , Hayden, Mary , Nepal, Vishnu , Nichka, Doug , Wiedinmyer, Christine , Wilhelmi, Olga
Institution: City of Houston Department of Health and Human Services , Arizona State University - Tempe , National Center for Atmospheric Research , University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Current Institution: Portland State University , City of Houston Department of Health and Human Services , National Center for Atmospheric Research
EPA Project Officer: Ilacqua, Vito
Project Period: January 15, 2015 through January 1, 2018 (Extended to January 1, 2019)
Project Period Covered by this Report: January 15, 2016 through January 14,2017
Project Amount: $999,635
RFA: Indoor Air and Climate Change (2014) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , Climate Change , Air


The overall goals of this project are to 1) develop an integrated modeling framework to characterize current and future health risks of an older population to urban ozone and extreme heat, indoors and outdoors; 2) improve understanding of how emerging trends in building design and management practices affect indoor air quality; and 3) build local capacity in reducing negative health outcomes during episodes of high ozone and extreme heat.

Progress Summary:

The project tasks revolve around three key elements: (1) develop scenarios for future climate, air pollution, building management/operations, and system failures; (2) conduct measurements in the laboratory and in occupied residences (initially Assisted Living Facilities) to characterize air quality/exposure-related interactions among building materials, management practices, occupant behavior, and ambient conditions; and (3) use these results in conjunction with data gathered from phone and in-person surveys to develop exposure and health outcomes models for scenarios developed in (1).

In this second year of the project, we completed our work on the second element described above and made major progress on the first element. Specifically, we have completed an extensive suite of laboratory measurements to explore the air quality interactions associated with different materials found in residences. This has included experiments with different carpet fiber materials, paints (during first weeks after application), indoor vegetation, and other materials, and prepared two peer-reviewed publications. Data from these measurements will supplement data available in the literature to characterize emissions of volatile organic compounds and secondary reactions with indoor ozone that may produce various harmful compounds in indoor air. We also have completed one summer of indoor/outdoor measurements in Assisted Living Facilities during the summer 2016. These measurements have been used to provide input for and validate models of indoor-outdoor exchange processes. Archetype building models have been developed and initial simulations have been conducted to explore indoor air quality and temperature response to episodes of extreme heat and poor air quality coincident with equipment and/or air conditioning failures. We also have initiated the process of recruiting Assisted Living Facilities and residents for our second summer field campaign, which will include surveys and in-person interviews to better assess perceptions and adaptive capacity of elderly residents with respect to extreme heat and episodes of poor air quality. The survey instrument has been developed and will be deployed coincident with the second summer field campaign.

Future Activities:

In this next project year, we will conduct a second campaign of summer air quality measurements in Assisted Living Facilities and in private residences in Houston. These measurements will be combined with results from a scenario development effort to provide input data for the computer models developed in the first project year. These simulations will investigate effects of occupant behavior, management practices, and ambient climate and air quality conditions. We also will implement the household survey instrument to gather data on housing conditions, exposure characteristics, and adaptive capacity of the elderly population across the city.

Journal Articles:

No journal articles submitted with this report: View all 5 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

ozone, heat, vulnerability, elderly, GIS, surveys, buildings, relative risk

Relevant Websites:

Workshop on Extreme Heat and Ozone | National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Research Applications Laboratory Exit

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 2015 Progress Report
  • 2017 Progress Report