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2:00-3:30 pm 28th February 2022
Organisers: Dr Lindsay Bramwell (Senior Researcher) and Dr Jane Entwistle (Professor of Applied Geochemistry and Health), Northumbria University, UK
Dr Sanja Potgieter-Vermaak, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
Links between poor air quality and health are undisputed. The UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines and systematic reviews of health effects of household air pollution highlight health risks posed by poor indoor air quality. The amount of time we spend in our homes is increasing, and whilst outdoor air quality is regulated by national legislation and international guidance, a specific legislative framework for indoor air is still lacking. Citizen science provides an opportunity for both scientists and citizens to investigate indoor air quality (IAQ) and develop environmental health literacy through engagement activities.
Eighteen households participated in a pilot citizen science project during which particle matter (PM) concentrations were monitored using two Aeroqual 500 handheld air quality monitoring units over a one-week sampling period (located in the kitchen and the main living area). An activity diary for each room was completed, along with a questionnaire to capture broader details such as home occupancy, building construction, and proximity to industry, heavy road traffic. Participants received feedback on key PM sources in their homes, the concentrations of potentially toxic elements in their vacuum dust, and ways to reduce indoor dust and improve indoor air quality.
In this seminar we will provide an overview of the study and its findings and make available our study materials for you to adapt for your own use (e.g. questionnaire, participant activity sheets and feedback report templates, along with additional materials to support classroom-based activities). Depending upon demand and geographical location, there will also be an opportunity for members of the SEGH community you to borrow an Aeroqual 500 handheld air quality monitoring unit and sampling heads (e.g. PM10, PM2.5, temperature, humidity, VOC, CO2) to trial indoor air quality monitoring.