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 , Wiedinmyer, Christine , Banerjee, Deborah , Nichka, Doug , Hu, Huafen , Hayden, Mary , Wilhelmi, Olga , Nepal, Vishnu
Institution: Portland State University , City of Houston Department of Health and Human Services , National Center for Atmospheric Research
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: January 15, 2015 through January 1, 2018 (Extended to January 1, 2019)
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 proposed 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) develop recommendations for enhancing adaptive capacity to reduce negative health outcomes during episodes of high ozone and extreme heat.


This project uses Houston as a case study from which to draw broader conclusions regarding health risks associated with exposure to high temperatures and elevated ozone concentrations that are likely to be exacerbated by climate change. The research approach includes five interconnected components: a) use results from prior studies in conjunction with new regional scale modeling to establish an understanding of how a warming climate and changing emissions will affect extreme heat and ambient ozone concentrations; b) use quantitative and qualitative social science research methods to characterize social vulnerability; c) measure thermal conditions and ozone concentrations indoors and outdoors at a sample of long-term care facilities to characterize diurnal patterns and relationships with building characteristics and occupant behaviors; d) use measurements to develop and validate indoor exposure models and extend these models in a sensitivity study for representative buildings across multiple U.S. climates; and e) integrate results from the first four components in a comprehensive health outcomes modeling.

Expected Results:

Key product of this project will be a comprehensive understanding of the relationships among outdoor environment, indoor environment, building characteristics, behavior, management/mitigation strategies, and respiratory health outcomes among older adults. This will translate into policy and building design/management/retrofit recommendations.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 21 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 9 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

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

Progress and Final Reports:

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