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'Green' homes save money but can trap air pollution indoors
Date:2/21/2013

et or on the soft furniture. If someone walks on the carpet or sits on the couch, they end up getting this kind of personal exposure," he said, "and with little ventilation in homes today, that pollution has nowhere to go, so it settles into our lungs."

To see just how much air pollution we may be exposed to in our homes, Rabinovitch conducted a study in which he asked school children to carry air monitors with them for several weeks. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, those monitors collected air samples in the children's homes and as they walked to and from school. Samples were also collected as the children played outside, and as they studied in the classroom.

After analyzing the data, Dr. Rabinovitch found that air quality was worst where you might expect it least.

"For many of these kids, the amount of air pollution that they were being exposed to was often higher inside the home than outside the home," he said.

That doesn't surprise Hope Duncan. Her 13-year-old son, Jack, suffered a near-fatal asthma attack in 2008, and since then, Duncan says she has learned a lot about triggers that are hidden around her home.

"They can be anywhere," said Duncan. "You never know what's underneath the carpet that has accumulated from pets or from water damage. There may be things in the couch or behind the walls that you simply don't know about," she said.

Because of that, Duncan and her family take strict precautions to protect her son. "We change our air filter often, and vacuum and dust constantly," she said. The Duncans have also installed an air purifier in Jack's room and insist that he shower each night before he goes to bed, instead of in the morning, like many people do.

"He spends most of his time in his room, and at least nine hours a night sleeping in there," said Duncan. "After spending the day outside, collecting all these allergens in his hair and on his body, we just want to make
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Contact: Adam Dormuth
dormutha@njhealth.org
303-398-1082
MediaSource
Source:Eurekalert

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