PORTLAND, Ore. — Enhabit (formerly Clean Energy Works) has announced a collaboration with researchers from the University of Oregon and the Oregon Research Institute on a new study designed to measure the connection between energy efficiency improvements and IAQ. The study is being funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The EPA reports that on average, people spend about 90 percent of their time indoors where pollutant levels can be two to five times higher than outside. Based on cancer risk alone, federal scientists have ranked indoor air pollution as one of the most important environmental problems in the United States.

“Few studies to-date have looked at how energy efficiency upgrades impact the health of people while we are in our homes,” said Dr. Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg, associate professor of architecture, University of Oregon. “From this research, we will learn more about how air quality issues may be addressed through weatherization.”

Results may help shape the use of weatherization to address not just energy efficiency, but also the reduction of home health hazards like toxins, mold, and mildew. Improving air quality indoors is good for all, but healthy indoor air is particularly critical for children, older adults, and those suffering from asthma and other respiratory problems.

“From the basement to the attic, most people don’t know about the many toxins hiding in your living space,” said Stephanie Swanson, vice president, communications, Enhabit. “Learning how weatherization can improve air quality will help us create homes that better protect people’s health.”

For more information, visit http://enhabit.org.

Publication date: 2/29/2016

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