Funded By Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Field Study Looks At Chemistry Of Indoor Home Environments

Monday, June 18, 2018

Funded By Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Field Study Looks At Chemistry Of Indoor Home Environments 

In the United States, as well as in most of the developed world, people reportedly spend about 90% of their time indoors. In homes, workplaces, schools and every indoor environment, people are impacted by the air they breathe and the surfaces they touch, as well as by the constantly changing influence of the indoor environment. A new field study called HOMEChem (House Observations of Microbial and Environmental Chemistry), funded by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in its Chemistry of Indoor Environments program, will analyze these chemical interactions with the tools used for studying outdoor air pollution with the hope of learning what role they may play in human health. The month-long project incorporates measurements from more than 15 research groups from 13 universities with experiments taking place inside the University of Texas’ UTest House facility. 

“HOMEChem is a deep, multifaceted field study into how indoor chemical compounds may interact and transform throughout a normal day of activities like cooking, cleaning and even during family gatherings,” says Marina Vance, PhD, principal investigator, assistant professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Environmental Engineering Program, University of Colorado Boulder. “We expect to answer important scientific questions on the chemistry of indoor environments in a real-world experimental setting.”

“The UTest House is a premanufactured home that has been retrofitted for experimentation,” says Atila Novoselac, Ph.D., professor, Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering University of Texas at Austin. “The house is exceptionally flexible but it still took two months to adjust...

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