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Ozone, Filters, and SBS symptoms

If outdoor ozone levels are related to SBS symptom prevalence in a building, would it be wise to install filters to remove the ozone entering the building? If using synthetic fiber filters further increased SBS symptom prevalence as outdoor ozone levels increased, would you want to use some different material for your building's particle filters?

Recently published research on the results suggest that it may reduce SBS symptom rates if you reduce ozone remove ozone from outdoor air. Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBL) have published two papers linking outdoor ozone concentrations with SBS symptom rates in the EPA's BASE study of 100 office representative of U.S. office buildings in various climates and parts of the country. They also found that the effect of outdoor ozone levels was dramatically increased when synthetic fiber filters were used as particle filters in the buildings studied.

You can learn more about it from a Scientific American piece on their web site or by reading the two papers themselves.

Scientific American is running a piece on the BASE Study ozone/BRS papers in their online site (see below for link). This article is based on two new LBNL papers and material Mike Apte sent as well as a lengthy interview. Apte says he wishes the writer would have listened to his cautions about the need for replication and the pitfalls of over interpreting statistical analyses. But it’s hard to get the media to take such cautions seriously. Hopefully this media attention will spur more interest in ozone-related environmental health issues.

But the case for a link of outdoor ozone to health effects has been made very strongly for increased mortality, and there are many good reasons to believe that increases in outdoor ozone can contribute to other effects such as building-related symptoms (SBS).

For more on indoor ozone and health, read Charles J. Weschler's excellent analysis in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. You can read it  on line, Ozone’s Impact on Public Health: Contributions from Indoor Exposures to Ozone and Products of Ozone-Initiated Chemistry.

 

Click here to read Smog Can Make People Sick, Even Indoors

There are also links to the LBNL versions of the papers published in the Indoor Air journal. The papers are also available on the Indoor Air journal's web site.

The LBNL versions of the papers are currently available online here.

The references are Apte M.G., I.S.H. Buchanan, and M.J. Mendell. 2007. “Outdoor Ozone and Building Related Symptoms in the BASE Study,” in press, Indoor Air. LBNL-62419.

Buchanan I.S.H, M.J. Mendell, A. Mirer, and M.G. Apte. 2007. “Air Filter Materials, Outdoor Ozone and Building-related Symptoms in the BASE study,” in press, Indoor Air. LBNL-62508.

 

For more on indoor ozone and health, read Charles J. Weschler's excellent analysis in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. You can read it  on line, Ozone’s Impact on Public Health: Contributions from Indoor Exposures to Ozone and Products of Ozone-Initiated Chemistry.

 


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