Baltimore Healthy Schools: Impact of Indoor Air Quality on Health and Performance

EPA Grant Number: R835639
Title: Baltimore Healthy Schools: Impact of Indoor Air Quality on Health and Performance
Investigators: McCormack, Meredith , Bettencourt, Amie , Williams, D’Ann , Connolly, Faith , Curriero, Frank , Leaf, Phillip
Current Investigators: McCormack, Meredith , Leaf, Phillip , Curriero, Frank , Connolly, Faith , Koehler, Kirsten
Institution: The Johns Hopkins University , Baltimore Education Research Consortium , Baltimore City Schools
Current Institution: The Johns Hopkins University , Baltimore City Schools , Baltimore Education Research Consortium
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: December 18, 2014 through October 31, 2018 (Extended to October 31, 2019)
Project Amount: $997,822
RFA: Healthy Schools: Environmental Factors, Children’s Health and Performance, and Sustainable Building Practices (2013) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Children's Health , Human Health


The objective of this research is to assess the impact that indoor air and outdoor quality can have on student achievement, student health and overall school climate and to document that impact on indoor air quality and school performance indicators associated with modernization of school facilities in Baltimore City.


The proposed 4-year program will take place in two phases. Both Phases will assess 3 outcome domains: student performance; student health (primarily asthma); and school climate and staff performance indicators. Phase I is an assessment of all public schools in Baltimore and will determine if the ambient air quality and the environment around a school is associated with performance and health indicators.  Phase I will also evaluate the relationship between existing building characteristics (based on a recent school inspection campaign) and student achievement, student health and overall school climate. In Phase II we will take advantage of a natural experiment to see if schools that undergo facility improvement (significant renovation, N= 25) have improvements in air quality (PM2.5, CO, NO2, VOCs, HCOH), surface contaminants allergen and endotoxin) and environmental conditions (CO2, temperature, humidity, noise, and illumination) compared to schools that do not undergo renovation (but are scheduled for renovation at a later date and matched based on facility condition; N=10).  We will also evaluate whether the renovations and changes in environmental conditions result in changes in key performance and health outcomes. Community and stakeholder engagement will be an integral part of the project throughout its course.

Expected Results:

This goal is of this project is closely aligned with the objectives of the EPA’s Healthy Schools grant announcement.  The ultimate result of this project is improved health and educational performance for children in City schools. Once completed this project will provide evidence of how improvements in the Baltimore city Schools’ infrastructure impact indoor air quality and other environmental factors, as well as student performance, student health and school climate.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 18 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 2 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

Indoor air pollution, ambient air pollution, particulate matter, pulmonary health;

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2015 Progress Report
  • 2016 Progress Report
  • 2017 Progress Report
  • 2018 Progress Report
  • Final Report