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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8448-8479; doi:10.3390/ijerph120708448

Evaluating the Long-Term Health and Economic Impacts of Central Residential Air Filtration for Reducing Premature Mortality Associated with Indoor Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) of Outdoor Origin

Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL 60616, USA
These authors contributed equally to this work.
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Gary Adamkiewicz and Patricia Fabian
Received: 1 June 2015 / Revised: 1 June 2015 / Accepted: 9 July 2015 / Published: 21 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Environmental Quality: Exposures and Occupant Health)
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Abstract

Much of human exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) of outdoor origin occurs in residences. High-efficiency particle air filtration in central heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems is increasingly being used to reduce concentrations of particulate matter inside homes. However, questions remain about the effectiveness of filtration for reducing exposures to PM2.5 of outdoor origin and adverse health outcomes. Here we integrate epidemiology functions and mass balance modeling to estimate the long-term health and economic impacts of HVAC filtration for reducing premature mortality associated with indoor PM2.5 of outdoor origin in residences. We evaluate 11 classifications of filters (MERV 5 through HEPA) using six case studies of single-family home vintages and ventilation system combinations located in 22 U.S. cities. We estimate that widespread use of higher efficiency filters would reduce premature mortality by 0.002–2.5% and increase life expectancy by 0.02–1.6 months, yielding annual monetary benefits ranging from $1 to $1348 per person in the homes and locations modeled herein. Large differences in the magnitude of health and economic impacts are driven largely by differences in rated filter efficiency and building and ventilation system characteristics that govern particle infiltration and persistence, with smaller influences attributable to geographic location. View Full-Text
Keywords: indoor air; HVAC filter; DALYs; premature mortality; exposure; infiltration indoor air; HVAC filter; DALYs; premature mortality; exposure; infiltration
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhao, D.; Azimi, P.; Stephens, B. Evaluating the Long-Term Health and Economic Impacts of Central Residential Air Filtration for Reducing Premature Mortality Associated with Indoor Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) of Outdoor Origin. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 8448-8479.

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