Open the window, clean the air

Glenn Morrison received a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to study air quality in homes         Sam O'Keefe/Missouri S&T

Glenn Morrison received a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to study air quality in homes. Sam O’Keefe/Missouri S&T

Some people open the windows in their homes whether it’s snowing or raining, in stifling heat or frigid cold. A Missouri S&T environmental engineering professor says that can have a positive effect on the air quality in your home.

With nearly $1 million in funding from the Environmental Protection Agency, environmental engineering professor Glenn Morrison is studying how window-opening behavior can change indoor exposure to pollutants associated with oxidative chemistry. Dry-cleaned clothes, paints, personal care products and furniture all release chemicals that can cause indoor air pollution.

With a portion of the grant funds, Morrison will hire a polling company to compile data from all corners of the United States to compare the window-opening habits of people in several geographic locations. Data collected from the poll will be used in conjunction with prior studies to provide a more comprehensive view of window-opening, he says.

Morrison will also analyze indoor air quality in rented residences in Houston and St. Louis during the summer and winter months. He hopes the data will be used to make policy recommendations to lead building design that protects people who are sensitive to air pollution.

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