The overall goals of this proposed project are to 1) develop an integrated modeling framework to characterize current and future health risks of an older population to urban ozone and extreme heat, indoors and outdoors; 2) improve understanding of how emerging trends in building design and management practices affect indoor air quality; and 3) build local capacity in reducing negative health outcomes during episodes of high ozone and extreme heat.
This project uses Houston as a case study from which to draw broader conclusions regarding health risks associated with exposure to high temperatures and elevated ozone concentrations that are likely to be exacerbated by climate change. The research approach includes five interconnected components: a) use results from prior studies in conjunction with new regional scale modeling to establish an understanding of how a warming climate and changing emissions will affect extreme heat and ambient ozone concentrations; b) use quantitative and qualitative social science research methods to characterize social vulnerability; c) measure thermal conditions and ozone concentrations indoors and outdoors at a sample of long-term care facilities to characterize diurnal patterns and relationships with building characteristics and occupant behaviors; d) use measurements to develop and validate indoor exposure models; and e) integrate results from the first four components in a comprehensive health outcomes modeling.
Key product of this project will be a comprehensive understanding of the relationships among outdoor environment, indoor environment, building characteristics, behavior, management/mitigation strategies, and respiratory health outcomes among older adults. This will translate into policy and building design/management/retrofit recommendations.
Environmental Protection Agency