2006 Progress Report: Community-Based Intervention Project: Reduction of Exposure and Risk from Pesticides and Allergens

EPA Grant Number: R832141C004
Subproject: this is subproject number 004 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R832141
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health
Center Director: Perera, Frederica P.
Title: Community-Based Intervention Project: Reduction of Exposure and Risk from Pesticides and Allergens
Investigators: Evans, David
Current Investigators: Evans, David , Carlton, Elizabeth , Chew, Ginger
Institution: Columbia University in the City of New York
EPA Project Officer: Callan, Richard
Project Period: November 1, 2003 through October 31, 2008 (Extended to October 31, 2010)
Project Period Covered by this Report: November 1, 2005 through October 31,2006
RFA: Centers for Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research (2003) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Children's Health , Health Effects , Health


The CBPR Intervention Project currently consists of two projects. The first project is an evaluation of a building-wide Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program in public housing. The project is a collaboration between the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDOHMH), the NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA), and the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health (CCCEH). The aim of this project is to examine the impact of IPM on pest populations, allergen levels, and asthma morbidity up to 6 months after the intervention and is currently funded by a no-cost extension. The second project continues the NYCHA–NYCDOH–CCCEH collaboration, examining the long-term impact of NYCHA’s IPM intervention. The aim of the second project is to determine the duration of IPM effectiveness by measuring how long IPM keeps pest levels reduced, how long the physical repairs, sealing and caulking last before degrading, and the maintenance schedule needed to maintain IPM.

Progress Summary:

Data collection for our 6 month IPM evaluation at both sites is complete. We enrolled 324 apartments at baseline, 264 at 3-month follow-up, and 264 at 6-month follow-up, retaining 81% of participants. The final apartment was enrolled in Bushwick, Brooklyn in Spring 2006. We were able to collect follow-up data on134 apartments. There were 65 apartments that were ineligible for follow-up due to NYCHA error in scheduling the interventions.

Multi-level modeling, controlling for baseline, buildings (as buildings were assigned to treatment and control), and senior vs. mixed age buildings were used in the analyses of allergen and pest variables using SAS Proc Mixed.

IPM apartments did better than control apartments in controlling cockroaches and mice according to every measure of effectiveness we assessed. There was a clearer impact on cockroaches than mice, and it was stronger at 3 months compared to 6 months. IPM was significantly more successful than controls apartments in reducing cockroach counts 25%, 50%, and 75% by the 3-month follow-up. IPM apartments had, on average, between 6 and 24 fewer cockroaches trapped per week than control apartments with between 10 and 100 cockroaches trapped per week.

We found statistically significant reductions in the cockroach allergen levels in the intervention apartments (IPM) compared to the control apartments (traditional pest control services of NYCHA), both in the kitchen (P=.05) and in the bedroom (P=.013) 6 months after the baseline. However, the measurements of cockroach allergens were not statistically significant using the same models at the 3-month measurement taken after baseline in both the bedroom AND the kitchen. Cockroaches were detected in 77% of all apartments.


This study demonstrates that IPM is an effective method for safely controlling pests in a public housing environment. Asthma is a major health problem among low-income, inner-city minority populations. This intervention has successfully shown that there are safe methods to control prevalent pests without the use of highly toxic pesticides. This may have large scale implications in the control of asthma triggers for residents of public housing. One unique characteristic of this study was the use of NYCHA personnel to perform the IPM. NYCHA staff did not provide an educational intervention and positive results were still evident. High asthma prevalence among residents and the use of illegal pesticides highlights the need for safe and effective building-wide pest control strategies. Our analyses of the impact of IPM has demonstrated that a community-based, building-wide IPM intervention in public housing can reduce pest populations and allergen levels in the home. The long term IPM evaluation will provide much needed information about the long-term impact and durability of IPM interventions and hopefully be able to demonstrate the cost effectiveness of IPM.

Future Activities:

Analyses of the impact of IPM on pests, allergens, asthma morbidity, and pesticide use are underway for the follow up. Results from the 3 and 6 month data have been analyzed and are being prepared to submit for publication.

The final lab analyses of the allergen samples collected for long term follow up will be completed this summer and the overall assessment of the long term effectiveness of IPM will be evaluated later this year. We are preparing data on program costs for the intervention from NYCHA. A follow-up manuscript reporting the long term results, which will most likely include a cost effectiveness analysis, is planned for the Fall/Winter of 2006.

Journal Articles on this Report : 1 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other subproject views: All 1 publications 1 publications in selected types All 1 journal articles
Other center views: All 154 publications 142 publications in selected types All 139 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Chew GL, Carlton EJ, Kass D, Hernandez M, Clarke B, Tiven J, Garfinkel R, Nagle S, Evans D. Determinants of cockroach and mouse exposure and associations with asthma in families and elderly individuals living in New York City public housing. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology 2006;97(4):502-513. R832141 (2007)
R832141 (Final)
R832141C004 (2005)
R832141C004 (2006)
R832141C004 (2007)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Abstract: Annals of Allergy Asthma and Immunology - Abstract
  • Supplemental Keywords:

    children’s health, health effects, health risk assessment, assessment of exposure, asthma, children’s environmental health, air pollutants,, RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, HUMAN HEALTH, Genetics, Health Risk Assessment, Biochemistry, Health Effects, Children's Health, Environmental Policy, Risk Assessment, asthma, community-based intervention, prenatal exposure, environmental risks, Human Health Risk Assessment, genetic mechanisms, assessment of exposure, genetic risk factors, children's environmental health, exposure assessment, genetic susceptibility, maternal exposure

    Relevant Websites:

    http://www.mailman.hs.columbia.edu/ccceh/ Exit

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 2004 Progress Report
  • 2005 Progress Report
  • 2007 Progress Report
  • 2008
  • 2009
  • Final

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R832141    Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R832141C001 Growth and Development Research Project: Prenatal and Postnatal Urban Pollutants and Neurobehavioral Developmental Outcomes
    R832141C002 Research Project on Asthma: Prenatal and Postnatal Urban Pollutants and Childhood Asthma
    R832141C003 Mechanistic Research Project
    R832141C004 Community-Based Intervention Project: Reduction of Exposure and Risk from Pesticides and Allergens
    R832141C005 Community Translation and Application Core (COTAC)
    R832141C006 Exposure Assessment Facility Core
    R832141C007 Data Management, Statistics and Community Impact Modeling Core
    R832141C008 Administrative Core