Effectiveness of Using Enhanced Filters in Schools and Homes to Reduce Indoor Exposures to PM 2.5 from Outdoor Sources and Subsequent Health Benefits for Children with Asthma

Sheena E. Martenies, Stuart A. Batterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Filters can reduce indoor concentrations of particulate matter (PM 2.5 ), but their benefits have not been well-characterized. This study investigates exposure, health, and cost impacts of high efficiency filters in homes and schools, focusing on the asthma-related outcomes. Reductions in indoor exposures to PM 2.5 from outdoor sources with enhanced filters (e.g., MERV 12) are estimated using probabilistic indoor air quality models, and avoided health impacts are quantified using health impact assessment. These methods are applied using data from Detroit, Michigan, an urban region with elevated asthma rates. Replacing inefficient filters with enhanced filters in schools would reduce the PM 2.5 -attributable asthma burden by 13% annually, with higher benefits for more efficient filters. Marginal costs average $63 per classroom or $32 per child with asthma per year. In homes, using efficient furnace filters or air cleaners yields 11 to 16% reductions in the asthma burden with an annualized marginal costs of $151-494 per household. Additional benefits include reductions in health risk for adults and lower exposures to other contaminants such as PM from indoor sources. On the basis of the included health outcomes, efficient filters in schools in particular is a potentially cost-efficient way to reduce the asthma-related health burden for children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10767-10776
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume52
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 18 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

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