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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015 Jul 21;12(7):8448-79. doi: 10.3390/ijerph120708448.

Evaluating the Long-Term Health and Economic Impacts of Central Residential Air Filtration for Reducing Premature Mortality Associated with Indoor Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) of Outdoor Origin.

Author information

1
Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL 60616, USA. dzhao14@hawk.iit.edu.
2
Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL 60616, USA. pazimi@hawk.iit.edu.
3
Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL 60616, USA. brent@iit.edu.

Abstract

Much of human exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) of outdoor origin occurs in residences. High-efficiency particle air filtration in central heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems is increasingly being used to reduce concentrations of particulate matter inside homes. However, questions remain about the effectiveness of filtration for reducing exposures to PM2.5 of outdoor origin and adverse health outcomes. Here we integrate epidemiology functions and mass balance modeling to estimate the long-term health and economic impacts of HVAC filtration for reducing premature mortality associated with indoor PM2.5 of outdoor origin in residences. We evaluate 11 classifications of filters (MERV 5 through HEPA) using six case studies of single-family home vintages and ventilation system combinations located in 22 U.S. cities. We estimate that widespread use of higher efficiency filters would reduce premature mortality by 0.002-2.5% and increase life expectancy by 0.02-1.6 months, yielding annual monetary benefits ranging from $1 to $1348 per person in the homes and locations modeled herein. Large differences in the magnitude of health and economic impacts are driven largely by differences in rated filter efficiency and building and ventilation system characteristics that govern particle infiltration and persistence, with smaller influences attributable to geographic location.

KEYWORDS:

DALYs; HVAC filter; exposure; indoor air; infiltration; premature mortality

PMID:
26197328
PMCID:
PMC4515730
DOI:
10.3390/ijerph120708448
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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