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A Citizen-Science Study Documents Environmental Exposures and Asthma Prevalence in Two Communities
Eiffert, S., Y. Noibi, S. Vesper, J. Downs, F. Fulk, J. Wallace, M. Pearson, AND A. Winquist. A Citizen-Science Study Documents Environmental Exposures and Asthma Prevalence in Two Communities. JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND PUBLIC HEALTH. Hindawi Publishing Corporation, New York, NY, 2016:1962901, (2016).
A citizen-science study was conducted in two low-income, flood-prone communities in Atlanta, Georgia, in order to document environmental exposures and the prevalence of occupant asthma. Teams consisting of a public-health graduate student and a resident from one of the two communities administered a questionnaire, inspected residences for mold growth, and collected a dust sample for quantifying mold contamination. The dust samples were analyzed for the 36 molds that make up the Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI). Most residents (76%) were renters. The median duration of residence was 2.5 years. Although only 12% of occupants reported a history of flooding, 46% reported at least one water leak. Homes with visible mold (35%) had significantly (P < 0.05) higher mean ERMI values compared to homes without (14.0 versus 9.6). The prevalence of self-reported, current asthma among participants was 14%. In logistic regression models controlling for indoor smoking, among participants residing at their current residence for two years or less, a positive association was observed between asthma and the homes' ERMI values (adjusted odds ratio per unit increase in ERMI = 1.12, 95% confidence intervals (CI): 1.01-1.25; two-tailed P = 0.04). Documentation of the exposures and asthma prevalence has been presented to the communities and public officials. Community-based organizations have taken responsibility for planning and implementing activities in response to the study findings.
To address community concerns about potential health effects of flooding in the English Avenue and Vine City communities of Atlanta, we conducted a survey of homes in these areas to examine the prevalence of mold and mold-associated health conditions. We assessed the presence of mold both by visual observations in residences and using the ERMI metric. The relationships between these measures of mold and self-reported asthma among current residents was also examined.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY
SYSTEMS EXPOSURE DIVISION