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Tebbe, Hope MEvaluation of Indoor Air Quality in Four Nursing Home Facilities in Northwest Ohio
Master of Science in Occupational Health, University of Toledo, 2017, Occupational Health (Industrial Hygiene)
Indoor air quality (IAQ) is considered one of the top five environmental risks to the public’s health. Older adults are more vulnerable to health complications associated with indoor air contaminants because of their decreased immune system and age-associated health problems, as well as the fact that they spend up to 95 percent of their time indoors. Area air sampling was conducted in the nursing home section of four long term care facilities, three days at each facility (12 days total). Particle concentrations (PM2.5, PM10, Total Particulate matter (TPM), Ultrafine Particles (UFP), temperature, and humidity were measured. Two minute samples were collected during seven Sampling Sessions. Up to nine indoor locations were sampled, representing the various occupied spaces in each nursing home, along with an outside location for comparison. Results of Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) by Facility demonstrated significant differences (p<0.001) in PM concentrations and UFP counts. One Facility had higher particulate concentrations at all Sampling Locations which may include contributions from geographic location, vehicular traffic, or resident clustering. ANOVA by Sampling Location demonstrated significant differences (p<0.001) in PM concentrations and UFP counts. In general, the highest UFP and PM concentrations were seen in the kitchen, satellite kitchen, and hair salon, especially at times when the staff and residents were active in these rooms. Significant differences were seen in UFP counts (Facilities 1 and 3) and PM2.5 (Facility 2) by Sampling Session. The highest concentrations were found for the Sampling Sessions in the mid-morning and mid-afternoon which were during peak times of activity for the residents. Although maximum temperature measurements exceeded ASHRAE winter guidelines, this may be appropriate for older residents who prefer a warmer temperature. While most median particle values were below ASHRAE guidelines, maximum values did exceed occasionally in the hair salon and kitchen at all facilities. Various indoor Sampling Location PM concentrations or UFP counts exceeded the outdoor levels at all four facilities. Although the median PM values did not exceed the ASHRAE standards it is unknown whether older adults may still experience significant health complications with these PM concentrations. In addition staff who spend extended amount of times in the kitchen and hair salon could be exposed to higher levels of PM. IAQ in hospitals and similar environments, such as nursing homes, may require a higher level of care because of the vulnerable population.

Committee:

April Ames, PhD, CIH (Committee Chair); Victoria Steiner, PhD (Committee Member); Akbar-Khanzadeh Farhang, PhD, CIH (Committee Member); Sheryl Milz, PhD, CIH (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Aging; Alternative Medicine; Engineering; Environmental Engineering; Environmental Health; Environmental Science; Environmental Studies; Gerontology; Health; Health Care Management; Health Sciences; Medicine; Occupational Health; Occupational Safety; Public Health; Welfare

Keywords:

Particulate Matter; Nursing Homes; Elderly; Indoor Air Quality; PM; IAQ; ASHRAE; Air Quality; susceptible population; buildings; Aging

McLeod, Jeffrey D.Evaluation of Indoor Air Quality Parameters and Airborne Fungal Spore Concentrations by Season and Type of HVAC System in a School Building
Master of Science in Occupational Health (MSOH), University of Toledo, 2008, College of Graduate Studies
An indoor air quality survey has been conducted in a school building. Samples were collected inone room in each wing and each level on a quarterly basis beginning in August 2002 and ending in December 2007. Levels of temperature, RH, CO2 and total airborne fungal spore concentration were determined. Data were compared between wings and levels. Comparison of data by wing performed to evaluate the difference in age and type of univent present had on the temperature, RH, CO2 and total airborne fungal spore concentration. Data were also compared for seasonal variability. Temperature, RH, CO2 and total airborne fungal spore concentration were not statistically significantly different between wings or level, except for a difference in temperature by level. There were statistically significant differences in total airborne fungal spore concentrations seasonally.

Committee:

Sheryl Milz, PhD (Committee Chair); Michael Bisesi, PhD (Committee Member); Brian Harrington, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Occupational Safety; Public Health

Keywords:

Fungi; Elementary School; Indoor Air Quality; HVAC

Backes, Audrey AnnEvaluation of Particulate Matter Inside Control Rooms at a Quarry and Processing Facility
Master of Science (MS), University of Toledo, 2014, Occupational Health (Industrial Hygiene)
Particulate matter has been a known health concern in all work environments including quarries and lime facilities for nearly 40 years. While a great amount of information is available on silica samples and concentrations at these facilities, there is less information on nuisance dust. The health effects of particulate matter can increase dramatically as the particulate matter decreases in size. Particulate matter of less than 2.5 µm are of particular concern because they can penetrate deep into the lungs. A quarry and its adjacent processing facility in Northwest Ohio was studied for PM1, PM2.5, PM5, PM10, PMTotal, and ultrafine particulate matter. Additionally, environmental data including temperature and relative humidity were studied. The study focused on four locations at the south side of the plant. The greatest concentration of particulate matter was measured outside near a load-out operation. The least concentration of particulate matter was measured inside an operator’s control room. The null hypotheses was rejected for each size category of particulate matter. Twenty-three statistical differences were found in this study. These statistical differences confirm the effective use of a control room to reduce employee exposure.

Committee:

Sheryl Milz, PhD (Advisor); Farhang Akbar, PhD (Committee Member); Michael Valigosky, PhD (Committee Member); April Ames, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Occupational Health; Occupational Safety

Keywords:

Particulate Matter; Dust; Air Quality; Quarry; Dry Kiln Dust; Limestone; Indoor Air Quality; Particulates

Vijayan, AbhilashCharacterization of Vehicular Exhaust Emissions and Indoor Air Quality of Public Transport Buses Operating on Alternative Diesel Fuels
Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering, University of Toledo, 2007, Civil Engineering

Over the years, vehicular traffic has increased multifold causing an associated increase in the total emissions from transportation sources. These vehicular emissions affect two human occupied environments most significantly: human occupied regions near and around the roads including residences, offices, schools, hospitals etc., and indoor vehicle compartments that act as individual microenvironments trapped inside the high concentration zone. A detailed literature review indicated five major gaps in the knowledge base related to pollutant characteristics from the vehicular exhaust and pollutant behavior inside buses which are addressed in this research.

• Characterization of indoor air pollutant behavior: The literature review did not yield any elaborate study results on indoor pollutant behavior trends and/or models for public transport bus compartments. Comparative studies on the behavior of indoor-outdoor pollutant relationships and concentration variation at different locations inside the bus were also limited in scope.

• Indoor air quality in buses and factors influencing the indoor air quality (IAQ): No comprehensive study has been reported in the literature in which simultaneous measurement of multiple gaseous contaminants and particulate matter (PM) inside buses have been carried out that have focused on the identification of important explanatory variables of indoor air quality.

• Measurement of fine particulates: The current work reported in the literature is limited to particulate measurements for sizes more than 2.5 micrometer (µm) and most of the studies focus on PM10 (particle matter less than 10 µm in diameter) concentrations. Very few studies have measured the number of particles/unit volume and compared the associated abundance of particles to their respective mass concentrations.

• Characterization of exhaust emission behavior: Most of the work reported has a limitation on the number of vehicles studied and fails to elaborate the interaction between influencing variables. Very few studies have reported emission comparisons for biodiesel and ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) operated fleets and limited models are available to study fleet emission behavior and instantaneous emission concentrations with respect to engine performance and fuel.

• Impacts of alternative fuels on indoor air quality have not been studied extensively.

This research has tried to lessen these knowledge gaps in the field and is the first to attempt an extensive real time monitoring and measurement of numerous operational and traffic variables that could have an effect on the emissions and the air quality of public transport buses. A comprehensive emission testing protocol was developed for characterizing emission characteristics from Toledo Area Regional Transportation Authority (TARTA) public transport buses, and over 120 buses were tested in engine idling and on-road operation modes. This research was also the first to attempt a comprehensive indoor air quality study spanning thirteen months of data collection involving the monitoring and measurement of multiple indoor gaseous pollutants and ultra-fine particulate number and mass concentrations.

The emission protocol identified important influencing factors that affect vehicular emissions during real-world operating conditions. Emission comparisons for TARTA buses showed that although B20 biodiesel in comparison to ULSD fuel emitted higher concentrations of nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) for 300 series (Bluebird) fleet, and lower carbon monoxide (CO) concentration for both 300 and 500 series (Thomas) fleets, other factors such as engines’ operating conditions, preventative maintenance history, vehicle operation at different engine loads and engine operating temperatures had a larger influence on emission behavior. Regular engine idling mode and higher engine temperatures were found to reduce vehicular emissions most significantly (up to 30-42%) while performing preventative maintenance reduced emission concentrations by 15-20%. Emission models for seven TARTA fleets were developed for six gases – oxygen (O2), carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide (CO2), nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide (SO2). These models explained an average of 90% of the emission data for each pollutant. Instantaneous models also developed for the six pollutants based on real-time on-road test data explained an average of over 80% the variability in the pollutant emissions. Engine temperatures, exhaust temperature, accelerator pedal position, % engine load, and engine rpm were the most important variables affecting the concentrations of the pollutants studied (90% of the models had p<0.001 for each of the variables).

The indoor concentrations of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides (NOx) were found to be independent of the fuel used in the bus. Variation of all the pollutants studied were dependant on the route traveled, and additionally carbon dioxide was also found to be greatly affected by passenger ridership. Higher concentrations for all the pollutants were observed during the morning pullout and in periods of heavy traffic (around 9 am). The indoor concentration of fine particulates was found to be identical in both the B20 and ULSD buses suggesting minimal effect of fuel on the particulate concentrations. The effect of the fuel used in the bus was observed only during large periods of idling with the doors and windows opened, but during an average run, TARTA buses do not continuously idle for long periods with the windows opened. The indoor fine particulate levels were primarily a result of just-outside (roadside) concentrations and passenger activity. Over 95% of the indoor particulates have diameter less than 1 µm. PM1.0 mass was determined to be comprised of over 40% particles less than 0.40 µm, 25% particles between 0.40-0.50 µm and 35% particles between 0.50 and 1.0 µm in diameter. These pose the highest risk to humans as they can travel deep inside the lungs. The regression models developed using a combination of vehicular, traffic, ambient meteorology and in-vehicle comfort parameters, and ambient concentration explained approximately 72-81% of the hourly indoor mass and number concentrations of fine and ultra-fine particulates.

In conclusion, this dissertation demonstrates a feasible strategy for developing a comprehensive emission inventory and indoor air quality database to study the indoor and ambient impacts of public transport buses. The dissertation also presents a new analysis procedure for identifying the potential impact of each influencing variable from a comprehensive multi-variable environmental database developed from an experimental procedure. This research is also the first to attempt a comprehensive study to characterize the ultra-fine particulate (PM<1.0 µm) behavior inside public transport buses and to develop predictive models for multiple indoor pollutants including fine and ultra-fine particulate mass and number concentrations. The research was also able to characterize the emission and indoor air pollutant behavior for public transport fleets and identify the important influencing variables affecting the overall air quality.

Committee:

Ashok Kumar (Advisor)

Keywords:

Indoor Air Quality; Vehicular Exhaust Emission; Statistical modeling; Multiple regression; Alternative fuels; Biodiesel; ULSD; Public Transport; TARTA

Kadiyala, AkhilIdentification of Factors Affecting Contaminant Levels and Determination of Infiltration of Ambient Contaminants in Public Transport Buses Operating on Biodiesel and ULSD Fuels
Master of Science in Civil Engineering, University of Toledo, 2008, Civil Engineering

This experimental project presents a comprehensive study of indoor pollutant behavior in the public transport buses in the city of Toledo running on alternative fuels and an understanding of the contribution of outdoor pollutant concentrations to in-vehicle pollutant levels. The indoor pollutants monitored are particulate matter, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, nitric oxide, and nitrogen dioxide. Temperature and relative humidity are also measured inside the vehicle in addition to the in-vehicle pollutants. The various factors affecting indoor air quality are indoor sources of pollutants (people, furniture, etc.), ventilation, outdoor air quality, meteorology, pollutant decay, and vehicular traffic.

The diurnal, monthly, and seasonal variations of the pollutants are studied. The pollutant level buildup within a bus compartment is due to a combination of different factors and not a result of variation due to a single variable. As the bus is in motion and factors influencing the indoor pollutant levels keep changing randomly, it is difficult to identify specific monthly and seasonal trends. However, pollutant concentration levels are found to be highly influenced by peak hours in the morning and evening and a discussion is provided on identifying the factors that could have influenced monthly and seasonal variations. Relatively higher pollutant concentrations are observed for majority of the pollutants in winter when there is not much air exchange in the bus compartment. The trend study revealed that the concentrations were mainly influenced by peak hours, ventilation settings, vehicular traffic, passenger ridership, and meteorology.

The factors influencing pollutant levels with respect to month and season are identified. The regression tree analysis helped identify the various factors affecting in-vehicle pollutant levels and the relationships between independent variables and indoor pollutant concentrations. The meteorological effect study revealed wind direction to be the most significant meteorological variable for all the gaseous pollutants while particulate matter levels are found to be mainly influenced by ambient PM2.5 concentrations and visibility. Different combinations of variables were able to explain the trends of monitored indoor pollutants.

The contribution of ambient concentration to the indoor concentration levels was determined by calculating infiltration factors using two different methods for both biodiesel and ULSD buses. The analysis revealed that the indoor air quality levels are better in a biodiesel bus as compared to the ULSD bus. It was also observed that nearly 50-70% of the pollutants found indoors are generated outdoors for all the pollutants except nitrogen dioxide.

Exposure of passengers and drivers to the indoor pollutants monitored were determined using time weighted concentration and compared to available health standards. The study revealed that the drivers are safe from exposure to gaseous as well as particulate contaminants.

It is hoped that this study and analysis of in-vehicle pollutant trends will provide crucial information to indoor air quality regulators and decision makers in understanding the IAQ in transit vehicles and to regulate the indoor air quality standards.

Committee:

Ashok Kumar, PhD (Advisor); Andrew Heydinger, PhD (Committee Member); Devinder Kaur, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Civil Engineering; Environmental Engineering; Transportation

Keywords:

Indoor Air Quality; Regression Tree Analysis; CART; Infiltration factor; Alternative fuels; Biodiesel; ULSD; Public Transport; TARTA; Exposure

Yerrabolu, PavanCorrection model based ANN modeling approach for the estimation of Radon concentrations in Ohio
Master of Science in Electrical Engineering, University of Toledo, 2012, College of Engineering
According to National Cancer Institute, radon is one of the major causes for lung cancer related deaths after smoking in the United States. In order to prevent deaths due to radon inhalation there is a need to determine the level of radon concentration in each locality, e.g., zip-codes. However, factors like inapproachability hinder the process of estimating radon concentration in some places. In such places the radon concentrations could be estimated using several interpolation techniques. In this thesis, a new approach that improves the accuracy of the neural model with the help of sensitivity based correction model for modeling and estimating radon concentrations in Ohio is proposed. The results are compared with commonly used techniques such as kriging, radial basis function (RBF), inverse distance weighting (IDW), global polynomial interpolation (GPI), local polynomial interpolation (LPI) and the recently developed conventional ANN modeling approach. Further, model accuracies of all the above interpolation schemes are evaluated based on the ranked performance measures criteria with emphasis on the extreme-end (peak-end, low-end), and mid-range radon concentrations. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach in estimating the radon concentrations. The prediction accuracy of the proposed approach is found to be improved by 70-80% compared to the other techniques.

Committee:

Dr. Vijay Devabhaktuni (Advisor)

Subjects:

Electrical Engineering

Keywords:

Artificial neural networks; Correction Model; Indoor Air Quality Measures; Interpolation; Ohio; Radon; Zip code

Chatterjee, KanisthaA Novel, Periodic Sampling Method to Assess Airborne Bacteria Populations
Master of Science, University of Toledo, 2011, Biology (Ecology)
Prolonged aerosolization of bacteria can result in a significant public health threat. However, the community composition of aerosolized bacteria, in indoor environments for example, is often poorly characterized. This is because traditional air collection is limited to a one-time, short duration sampling, during which an arguably non-representative air sample is often collected. To address this shortcoming, a periodic air sampling protocol was developed in an effort to sample in a more representative portion of airborne bacteria. In contrast with typical impaction onto an agar surface, the novel, periodic sampling method (i) operates periodically (e.g. 10 min h-1 for 48 h) over an extended period (e.g. multiple days), and (ii) impacts bacteria onto nitrocellulose membranes overlaid onto 60 mM peptone-phosphate agar. Following sampling, membranes can be removed from the agar and analyzed to determine cell counts on general- or organism-specific media, or assayed with molecular tools to generate genetic fingerprints or to detect genes of interests. In preliminary tests of several agar options, 60 mM phosphate buffered agar was found to most effectively facilitate survival of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus inoculated onto nitrocellulose membranes. Sampling under controlled conditions followed by DNA isolation and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis showed that despite equivalent total sampling durations (one, 60 min sampling vs. 10 min h-1 for 6 h), bacteria communities collected using composite sampling were better characterized with respect to the number of sampled communities than those collected using traditional methods. Composite sampling also detected significantly higher bacteria numbers versus those generated from the traditional sampling method. Compared with traditional sampling, composite air sampling provided a more comprehensive characterization of airborne bacteria. Additionally, greater downstream analytical flexibility can be of great importance for characterizing environments exhibiting dynamic air quality.

Committee:

Von Sigler, PhD (Committee Chair); Farhang Akbar-Khanzadeh, PhD (Committee Member); Cyndee Gruden, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Environmental Science; Microbiology; Public Health

Keywords:

Bioaerosols; impactors; indoor air quality; DGGE

Kadiyala, AkhilDevelopment and Evaluation of an Integrated Approach to Study In-Bus Exposure Using Data Mining and Artificial Intelligence Methods
Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering, University of Toledo, 2012, Civil Engineering

The objective of this research was to develop and evaluate an integrated approach to model the occupant exposure to in-bus contaminants using the advanced methods of data mining and artificial intelligence. The research objective was accomplished by executing the following steps. Firstly, an experimental field program was implemented to develop a comprehensive one-year database of the hourly averaged in-bus air contaminants (carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), 0.3-0.4 micrometer (¿¿¿¿m) sized particle numbers, 0.4-0.5 ¿¿¿¿m sized particle numbers, particulate matter (PM) concentrations less than 1.0 ¿¿¿¿m (PM1.0), PM concentrations less than 2.5 ¿¿¿¿m (PM2.5), and PM concentrations less than 10.0 ¿¿¿¿m (PM10.0)) and the independent variables (meteorological variables, time-related variables, indoor sources, on-road variables, ventilation settings, and ambient concentrations) that can affect indoor air quality (IAQ). Secondly, a novel approach to characterize in-bus air quality was developed with data mining techniques that incorporated the use of regression trees and the analysis of variance. Thirdly, a new approach to modeling in-bus air quality was established with the development of hybrid genetic algorithm based neural networks (or evolutionary neural networks) with input variables optimized from using the data mining techniques, referred to as the GART approach. Next, the prediction results from the GART approach were evaluated using a comprehensive set of newly developed IAQ operational performance measures. Finally, the occupant exposure to in-bus contaminants was determined by computing the time weighted average (TWA) and comparing them with the recommended IAQ guidelines.

In-bus PM concentrations and sub-micron particle numbers were predominantly influenced by the month/season of the year. In-bus SO2 concentrations were mainly affected by indoor relative humidity (RH) and the month of the year. NO concentrations inside the bus cabin were largely influenced by the indoor RH, while NO2 concentrations primarily varied with the month of the year. Passenger ridership and the month of the year mainly affected the in-bus CO2 concentrations; while the month and sky conditions had a significant impact on CO concentrations within the bus compartment.

The hybrid GART models captured majority of the variance in in-bus contaminant concentrations and performed much better than the traditional artificial neural networks methods of back propagation and radial basis function networks.

Exposure results indicated the average 8-hr. exposure of biodiesel bus occupants to CO2, CO, NO, SO2, and PM2.5 to be 559.67 ppm (¿¿¿¿ 45.01), 18.33 ppm (¿¿¿¿ 9.23), 5.23 ppm (¿¿¿¿ 4.49), 0.13 ppm (¿¿¿¿ 0.01), and 13.75 ¿¿¿¿g/m3 (¿¿¿¿ 4.24), respectively. The statistical significance of the difference in exposure levels to in-bus contaminants were compared during morning, afternoon, and evening/night time periods. There was statistically significant difference only between the morning (driver 1) and the evening/night (driver 3) exposure levels for CO2 and PM2.5. CO levels exceeded the TWA in some months.

Committee:

Dr. Ashok Kumar, PhD (Committee Chair); Dr. Devinder Kaur, PhD (Committee Member); Dr. Cyndee Gruden, PhD (Committee Member); Dr. Defne Apul, PhD (Committee Member); Dr. Farhang Akbar, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Civil Engineering; Environmental Engineering; Environmental Health

Keywords:

Indoor Air Quality; Public Transportation Buses; Biodiesel; Data Mining; Sensitivity of the Regression Trees; Artificial Neural Networks; Genetic Algorithm Neural Networks; Evolutionary Neural Networks; In-Bus Exposure; Air Quality Model Validation

Peck, Ryan LEfficiency of Portable HEPA Air Purifiers against Traffic Related Ultrafine Particles
MS, University of Cincinnati, 2015, Medicine: Industrial Hygiene (Environmental Health)
Exposure to diesel particles is known to cause and exacerbate the effects of respiratory conditions such as asthma. HEPA filtered air purifiers can reduce the concentrations of these particles, and therefore provide health benefits to the users. The Association of Homeowner Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) tests the purifiers in terms of Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) for tobacco smoke, dust, and pollen particles, while the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends the use of KCl test particles. Very little is known about the efficiency of HEPA air purifiers against diesel particles. In this study, we compared the CADRs of six models of air purifiers for diesel and KCl particles. Additionally, noise levels of each purifier were measured in order to help select one model best suited to be used in subsequent field studies. The experiments were conducted within a controlled laboratory setting in a test chamber. CADR for particles at eight different size ranges between 0.041µm and 1µm, as well as for total concentration were determined. Experiments comparing diesel and KCl CADRs were performed using a large Honeywell HPA300 model while operating on maximum speed and a smaller but very similar Honeywell HA106 model while operating on minimum speed. Experiments comparing the CADRs of the six air purifiers were conducted using diesel particles, while operating the air cleaners on both maximum and minimum speeds. Results showed that CADR values for diesel and KCl particles were significantly different, and notable size-selective differences were observed. In nearly every size range, CADR was higher against diesel particles than against KCl. The biggest difference was 25% and occurred for 0.042µm particles when the larger Honeywell HPA300 air purifier operated on maximum speed. It was concluded that KCl particles may underestimate the actual CADR of diesel. Results of noise measurements for the air purifiers showed a low positive linear association between noise and CADR (r2= 0.55). Thus, noise level does not predict well the efficiency of an HEPA air purifier. Both CADR and noise results have to be considered when selecting an air cleaner.

Committee:

Tiina Reponen, Ph.D. (Committee Chair); Sergey Grinshpun, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Marepalli Rao, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Environmental Health

Keywords:

Diesel;Indoor Air Quality;Air Purifier;Clean Air Delivery Rate;Noise

Newcomer, Derek A.Evaluation of Indoor Air Quality at Four Fitness Facilities
Master of Science in Occupational Health (MSOH), University of Toledo, 2004, School of Allied Health
It is generally accepted among environment health and medical professionals alike, that poor ventilation as well as contaminated indoor air can lead to complaints from building occupants. The health effects of poor indoor air quality are dependent upon various factors, but are commonly described as symptoms similar to those experienced from cold and influenza viruses. Indoor air quality is of especial concern considering humans spend an average of 90 percent of their time in buildings. The purpose of the study was to assess and evaluate the variability of ultrafine particulate matter, O3, CO2, CO, Cl2, relative humidity, and temperature between building areas, time periods, and locations at four fitness facilities. Nonparametric data analysis indicated statistical differences of the chemical contaminants between locations, areas, and periods of time. The differences were noted in comparisons of locations to each other, as well as individual analysis of the location.

Committee:

Sheryl Milz, Ph.D. (Advisor)

Subjects:

Health Sciences, Public Health

Keywords:

Indoor Air Quality; Fitness Facilities; IAQ

CHEN, MINGQINGA RULE BASED EXPERT SYSTEM FOR IAQ
MS, University of Cincinnati, 2005, Engineering : Computer Science
Indoor air quality (IAQ) refers to the quality of the air inside buildings as represented by concentrations of pollutants and thermal (temperature and relative humidity) conditions that affect the health, comfort, and performance of occupants. To ensure IAQ there is a need for systems that provide monitoring and diagnosing capabilities. Currently, tools for determining IAQ are based on a set of fixed rules and limited procedures only professionals can apply. Space occupants or owners usually are not able to apply the rules easily according to what they need in their spaces under given circumstances, nor are they able to adapt the existing rules forming their own rules for their own specific cases. This thesis presents a generic model for IAQ procedures. The model can be implementation in a computer-based IAQ system. The major features of this model are the capability to allow users to specify the problem, to identify key parameters for monitoring, detecting abnormalities, troubleshooting the detected problem, and suggesting actions for controlling the environment. The procedures used for each application, the customization of existing rules to specific cases, can be retained to establish new rules that will further become part of the knowledge base of a rule-based expert system framework. The implementation is demonstrated and two case studies are also presented.

Committee:

Chia-Yung Han (Advisor)

Subjects:

Computer Science

Keywords:

Indoor Air Quality; Expert System

GREEN, CHRISTOPHER FRANKASSESSMENT AND MODELING OF INDOOR AIR QUALITY
PhD, University of Cincinnati, 2002, Engineering : Environmental Science
Exposure to contaminated air has become an increased problem due to a variety of factors. Stachybotrys chartarum and other potentially harmful microorganisms implicated with indoor air problems have garnered national attention in recent years. Accurate assessment of indoor contaminated air, however, has proven to be prohibitively labor, time, cost, and training intensive. This dissertation presents the development of a model that accurately predicts the levels of indoor air biological contaminants using a number of independent variables that can be quickly calculated without expensive, time-consuming scientific techniques. Thirty-nine (39) residences were sampled in the Greater Cincinnati area using Andersen 2-stage air samplers loaded with Malt Extract Agar, Trypicase Soy Agar, Czapek’s Cellulose Agar, and Corn Meal Agar. After air sampling, the Petri dishes were incubated, the number of colonies from each plate were enumerated and the total number of viable cells/m3 were calculated. Initial walk-through of each site included an investigation of any possible presence of fungi or evidence of water damage. Relative humidity and temperature inside the site and out were recorded. Building site, size, and type were also noted and residents of the house were given an indoor health quality questionnaire to fill out. Independent variables were then compared together to the dependent variable using multiple linear regression. This was done using Analyze-it <@reg> for Microsoft Excel <@reg>. The model compared independent variables like temperature and humidity to fungal and bacterial bioaerosol counts obtained from the Andersen samplers. The final air model predicts indoor cell counts with 96% accuracy. The goal for this model was 90% accuracy.

Committee:

Dr. Pasquale Scarpino (Advisor)

Keywords:

indoor air quality; bioaerosols; fungal indentification; mmultiple linear regression; modeling

Sweet, Laura LouiseThe Impact of an Urban Intervention to Mediate Indoor Environmental Hazards on Asthma Outcomes in Children
Master of Science, The Ohio State University, 2012, Nursing

This study examined the outcomes a multifaceted home-based urban asthma program implemented through a city health department in a large Midwestern city. The purpose of the program was to improve asthma outcomes and reduce unintentional injury by mediating indoor asthma triggers and safety hazards in the home environment. Participants received home based education, cleaning and other supplies as well as physical home interventions such as mold abatement and pest control. A total of 310 low-income caregivers of children with asthma received services through the program.

Outcomes were evaluated using survey data collected at baseline and 6 months following the intervention. A total of 115 participants for whom baseline and follow-up data were available were included in this analysis. Results showed statistically significant reduction in the following outcomes following the intervention: asthma symptom days, nighttime awakenings, days with activity limitation, and albuterol use. Emergency room visits, missed school days, and caregiver missed work days also were reduced significantly. There was no statistically significant reduction in hospitalizations. Caregiver quality of life showed significant improvement following the intervention, and caregivers were significantly more likely to report engaging in asthma trigger reducing household activities.

Overall the program was found to have been successful in improving short- and long-term asthma outcomes and in improving caregiver quality of life. Program outcomes were similar to outcomes of comparable multifaceted home based interventions that have been described in the literature.

Committee:

Barbara Polivka, PhD (Advisor); Rosemary Chaudry, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Environmental Health; Nursing

Keywords:

environmental health; healthy homes; asthma; indoor air quality