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New study finds people living in drafty homes in low-income, urban communities are at a higher risk of respiratory health issues

mackstann | Posted in General Questions on

“A team of investigators from the Colorado School of Public Health at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus and the University of Colorado Boulder has identified that people living in homes with high ventilation are more likely to suffer from respiratory health issues such as asthma.


“Notably, people in homes with the highest air-exchange rates were approximately four times more likely to report a chronic cough than people living in households with the lowest air-exchange rates.

“Similarly, people were two to four times more likely to report asthma or asthma-like symptoms if they lived in households with the highest ventilation rates versus the lowest.”


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  1. Expert Member
    Peter Yost | | #1

    Thanks for this Nick -

    It is interesting that the study, which reports on the association of higher air leakage rates and higher reports of chronic cough and asthma goes on to surmise a CAUSAL effect: rather than more airtight homes holding more pollutants in, the more airtight homes keep more outdoor pollutants OUT, particularly traffic-related.


  2. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #2

    There are lots of unknowns in this field of research. I recently attended a conference in Burlington at which the keynote speaker referenced studies associating substandard housing with bad health outcomes for occupants. The trick is determining which factors are crucial -- ventilation, mold, roof leaks, plumbing leaks, occupant behavior issues, or some other complicating factor.

    I've written on this topic before, but will be revisiting it soon in a new article.

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