The effect of portable HEPA filter air cleaners on indoor PM2.5 concentrations and second hand tobacco smoke exposure among pregnant women in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: The UGAAR randomized controlled trial
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Background Portable HEPA filter air cleaners can reduce indoor fine particulate matter (PM2.5), but their use has not been adequately evaluated in high pollution settings. We assessed air cleaner effectiveness in reducing indoor residential PM2.5 and second hand smoke (SHS) exposures among non-smoking pregnant women in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Methods We randomized 540 participants to an intervention group receiving 1 or 2 HEPA filter air cleaners or a control group receiving no air cleaners. We followed 259 intervention and 253 control participants to the end of pregnancy. We measured one-week indoor residential PM2.5 concentrations in early (~11weeks gestation) and late (~31weeks gestation) pregnancy and collected outdoor PM2.5 data from centrally-located government monitors. We assessed blood cadmium in late pregnancy. Hair nicotine was quantified in a subset (n=125) to evaluate blood cadmium as a biomarker of SHS exposure. We evaluated air cleaner effectiveness using mixed effects and multiple linear regression models and used stratified models and interaction terms to evaluate potential modifiers of effectiveness. Results The overall geometric mean (GM) one-week outdoor PM2.5 concentration was 47.9?g/m3 (95% CI: 44.6, 51.6?g/m3), with highest concentrations in winter (118.0?g/m3; 110.4, 126.2?g/m3). One-week indoor and outdoor PM2.5 concentrations were correlated (r=0.69). Indoor PM2.5 concentrations were 29% (21, 37%) lower in intervention versus control apartments, with GMs of 17.3?g/m3 (15.8, 18.8?g/m3) and 24.5?g/m3 (22.2, 27.0?g/m3), respectively. Air cleaner effectiveness was greater when air cleaners were first deployed (40%; 31, 48%) than after approximately five months of use (15%; 0, 27%). Blood cadmium concentrations were 14% (4, 23%) lower among intervention participants, likely due to reduced SHS exposure. Conclusions Portable HEPA filter air cleaners can lower indoor PM2.5 concentrations and SHS exposures in highly polluted settings.
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Prabjit Barn, Enkhjargal Gombojav, Chimedsuren Ochir, Bayarkhuu Laagan, Bolor Beejin, Gerel Naidan, Buyantushig Boldbaatar, Jargalsaikhan Galsuren, Tsogtbaatar Byambaa, Craig Janes, Patricia A. Janssen, Bruce P. Lanphear, Tim K. Takaro, Scott A. Venners, Glenys M. Webster, Weiran Yuchi, Christopher D. Palmer, Patrick J. Parsons, Young Man Roh, Ryan W. Allen (2018). The effect of portable HEPA filter air cleaners on indoor PM2.5 concentrations and second hand tobacco smoke exposure among pregnant women in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: The UGAAR randomized controlled trial. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/13517