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Reduction of personal PM2.5 exposure via indoor air filtration systems in Detroit: an intervention study


The adverse health effects of fine particulate matter (PM < 2.5 μm in diameter [PM2.5]) air pollution are well-documented. There is a growing body of evidence that high-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filtration can reduce indoor PM2.5 concentrations and deliver some health benefits via the reduction of exposure to PM. However, few studies have tested the ability of portable air filtration systems to lower overall personal-level PM2.5 exposures. The Reducing Air Pollution in Detroit Intervention Study (RAPIDS) was designed to evaluate cardiovascular health benefits and personal PM2.5 exposure reductions via indoor portable air filtration systems among senior citizens in Detroit, Michigan. We evaluated the utility of two commercially available high-efficiency (HE: true-HEPA) and low-efficiency (LE: HEPA-type) indoor air filtration to reduce indoor PM2.5 concentrations and personal PM2.5 exposures for 40 participants in a double-blinded randomized crossover intervention. Each participant was subjected to three intervention scenarios: HE, LE, or no filter (control) of three consecutive days each, during which personal, indoor, and outdoor PM2.5 concentrations were measured daily. For mean indoor PM2.5 concentrations, we observed 60 and 52% reductions using HE and LE filters, respectively, relative to no filtration. Personal PM2.5 exposures were reduced by 53 and 31% using HE and LE filters, respectively, when compared with the control scenario. To our knowledge, this is the first indoor air filtration intervention study to examine the effectiveness of both HE and LE filters in reducing personal PM2.5 exposures.

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This study was supported by the National Institute of Nursing Research grant R01NR014484. The authors would like to thank the study participants and the administrative staff at the residential facility. The authors also would like to acknowledge David Ciciora, Sue Lustig, and Kathryn Thompson for their field study efforts.

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Correspondence to Masako Morishita.

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Maestas, M.M., Brook, R.D., Ziemba, R.A. et al. Reduction of personal PM2.5 exposure via indoor air filtration systems in Detroit: an intervention study. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 29, 484–490 (2019).

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