Impact of Outdoor Air Pollution on Indoor Air Quality in Low-Income Homes during Wildfire Seasons Public Deposited

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  • Indoor and outdoor number concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), black carbon (BC), carbon monoxide (CO), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) were monitored continuously for two to seven days in 28 low-income homes in Denver, Colorado, during the 2016 and 2017 wildfire seasons. In the absence of indoor sources, all outdoor pollutant concentrations were higher than indoors except for CO. Results showed that long-range wildfire plumes elevated median indoor PM2.5 concentrations by up to 4.6 times higher than outdoors. BC, CO, and NO2 mass concentrations were higher indoors in homes closer to roadways compared to those further away. Four of the homes with mechanical ventilation systems had 18% higher indoor/outdoor (I/O) ratios of PM2.5 and 4% higher I/O ratios of BC compared to other homes. Homes with exhaust stove hoods had PM2.5 I/O ratios 49% less than the homes with recirculating hoods and 55% less than the homes with no stove hoods installed. Homes with windows open for more than 12 hours a day during sampling had indoor BC 2.4 times higher than homes with windows closed. This study provides evidence that long-range wildfire plumes, road proximity, and occupant behavior have a combined effect on indoor air quality in low-income homes.

Date Issued
  • 2019-09-21
Academic Affiliation
Journal Title
Journal Issue/Number
  • 19
Journal Volume
  • 16
File Extent
  • 3535
Last Modified
  • 2020-01-09
Resource Type
Rights Statement
  • 1660-4601


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