A new study to measure air pollution in homes is to be undertaken in Galway.
NUI Galway, in partnership with the Institute of Occupational Medicine in Edinburgh and the University of Aberdeen, are looking to recruit 50 homes in Galway and 50 in Scotland to participate in the study,
The Indoor Air Pollution and Health (IAPAH ) project, which will run until December 2010, is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, and will focus on homes which use solid fuels for heating or cooking, or homes which have a resident smoker. The information collected in this project will be used to estimate how air pollution in homes affects our health. This is one of the first studies in Ireland and Scotland to look at air pollutants in domestic dwellings.
Over the last few decades there have been many advances in the design and construction of domestic dwellings. As a result, the amount of air movement in today’s buildings is estimated to be 10 times lower than it was 30 years ago. Activities in the home such as cooking, heating, and smoking, along with reduced air exchange can result in indoor air pollutants reaching levels greater than those found outdoors.
According to Dr Marie Coggins of the School of Physics at NUI Galway and co-ordinator of the project “The average European spends 90 per cent of their time indoors so the quality of the air we breathe plays a significant role in our health and well-being. Indoor air pollution has been identified as one of the key factors related to the development of respiratory illnesses, such as asthma and allergies. This project will allow us gather information which will help us improve our understanding of this important area”.
For details on how to participate in the study or for more information on air pollution visit www.nuigalway.ie/iapah