Field Group - Indoor Air Quality

Healthy Homes Project

The Master Home Environmentalist Program uses a volunteer community outreach system to address key indoor pollution issues. Volunteers conduct home environmental assessments and recommend actions to reduce risk from these hazards. This research project investigated two hypotheses: 1) a home assessment visit by a Master Home Environmentalist will result in behavior changes by household members, and 2) people who receive a home assessment will perceive a reduction of allergies, asthma, and respiratory symptoms. The Field Group helped a graduate student with study design, recruitment, and data analysis. The study found that the volunteers’ visits led to changes in people’s behavior; however, no conclusions about any change in health were made. Three months after the volunteers’ visits, 32 our of 36 households had made at least one positive change.

Leung R, Koenig JQ, Simcox N, van Belle G, Fenske R, Gilbert SG. Behavioral changes following participation in a home health promotional program in King County, Washington. Environ Health Perspect. 1997 Oct;105(10):1132-5.

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Native American smokehouse: public health considerations

Fire and smoke carry spiritual significance for the Swinomish Tribal Community. When a new code-compliant ceremonial smokehouse proved too smoky, the tribe turned to the Field Research and Consultation Group for a solution. The challenge was to find a culturally sensitive way to reduce carbon monoxide and particulates in a longhouse with two open fires, where lengthy ceremonies were held and large groups of participants including tribal elders were exposed. DEH researchers designed and tested an underground, nonmechanical ventilation system that works with the natural draft of heated air and is unobtrusive.

Flanagan ME, Zaferatos NC. Appropriate technologies in the traditional native American smokehouse: Public health considerations in tribal community development. American Indian Culture and Research Journal Fall 2000 v24 i4 p69(2)

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