Evaluation of Indoor Air Quality in Four Ohio Nursing Home Facilities

Abstract No:


Abstract Type:

Professional Poster 


H Tebbe1


1University of Toledo, Toledo, OH


Hope Tebbe, MSOH, MPH  
University of Toledo


The objective of this study was to perform air sampling in four nursing home facilities to determine if older adults are exposed to indoor air pollutants and if the time of day and type of activity contribute to particle levels. This study begins to identify differences between facilities and locations that may contribute to IAQ and has implications for reducing the potential health effects for residents in nursing homes.

Situation / Problem:

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is considered one of the top five environmental risks to the public's health. Older adults spend up to 95 percent of their time indoors which may result in more exposure to indoor environmental contaminants. Limited studies have been conducted related to the indoor environment and long-term care facilities. Results have found that particulate matter (PM) levels may be elevated in nursing homes and this can cause acute and chronic health effects.


Area air sampling was conducted in the nursing home section of four facilities, three days at each facility. Particle concentrations (PM2.5, PM10, Total Particulate matter (TPM ) were measured using a TSI DustTrak DRX Aerosol Monitor; ultrafine particle counts were determined with a TSI P-Trak Ultrafine Particle Counter; and temperature and humidity were evaluated using a TSI Q-Trak Indoor Air Quality Monitor. Up to nine indoor locations (activity room, private room, rehabilitation/exercise room, dining room, kitchen, satellite kitchen, community space (2) and hair salon) were sampled, representing the various occupied spaces in each nursing home, along with an outside location for comparison. Descriptive statistics were calculated and analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was conducted. Measured levels were compared to IAQ guidelines related to PM.

Results / Conclusions:

Facility 2 had higher PM concentrations and UFP counts compared to the other three facilities, which may include contributions from vehicular traffic, resident clustering or outdoor smoking. The highest PM concentrations and UFP counts were seen in the kitchen, satellite kitchen and hair salon sampling locations. These findings corroborate other studies that found an increase in PM with the use of hair products and during cooking and an increase in UFP during cooking. Generally, PM concentrations and UFP counts were highest during the mid-morning activity and mid-afternoon sampling session when residents were most active. ANOVA was performed and significant differences were seen between overall mean PM concentrations and UFP counts. All indoor median PM levels were below ASHRAE standards; however maximum concentrations did exceed recommendations in the satellite kitchen and hair salon.

Primary Topic:

Indoor Environmental Quality/Indoor Air Quality

Secondary Topics:


Acknowledgements and References

List any additional people who worked on the project or provided guidance and support along with details on the role they played in the research. (Please include first name, last name, organization, city, state and country).

Co-authors: V. Steiner, S. Milz, A. Ames

Thank you to Erin Messerly, Sarah Mancuso, Megan Benner for their assistance in data collection.

Almeida-Silva, M., Wolterbeek, H. T., & Almeida, S. M. (2014). Elderly exposure to indoor air pollutants, Atmospheric Environment, 85, 54-63.
Bentayeb, M., Norback, D., Bednarek, M., Bernard, A., Cai, G., Cerrai, S., & Nasilowski, J. (2015). Indoor air quality, ventilation and respiratory health in elderly residents living in nursing homes in Europe. European Respiratory Journal, ERJ-00824.
Bentayeb, M., Simoni, M., Norback, D., Baldacci, S., Maio, S., Viegi, G., & Annesi-Maesano, I. (2013). Indoor air pollution and respiratory health in the elderly. Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A, 48(14), 1783-1789.

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