CSIRO Research Assistant Sarah Lawson standing next to the air quality measurement equipment that will be located indoors of the participant’s home.
CSIRO Melbourne air quality survey volunteer call
Atmospheric scientists at CSIRO are about to undertake an important survey of air quality in private homes – but they need community assistance.
CSIRO air quality researcher, Dr Melita Keywood, said scientists are hoping to involve 40 households across Melbourne in the study funded by the Australian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.
“We know that some household pollutants pose a health risk under certain circumstances – but there is no profile of what could be described as average conditions in a typical Australian household,” Dr Keywood said.
“This survey aims to fill that gap in our knowledge.
“The study is an important step in determining whether there are any issues of concern with the quality of indoor air in the average Australian dwelling, in terms of potential adverse impacts on human health. We will also be able to determine what sources are likely to be associated with elevated levels of particular pollutants.”
“The study is an important step in determining whether there are any issues of concern with the quality of indoor air in the average Australian dwelling, in terms of potential adverse impacts on human health.”
Dr Keywood said the research team is seeking volunteer households. Volunteers need to be willing to have sampling equipment installed in their living areas for a 7-day period in spring 2008 and another 7-day period early in 2009. The equipment takes about three hours to install.
A key part of the survey is to gather information about possible sources of pollutants, including household chemicals, outdoor air and activities such as cooking, cleaning and hobbies that involve adhesives. To help with this part of the study, householders will be asked to keep a diary over the two periods that air is being sampled in their homes.
In return for participating in the survey, households will receive a full analysis of their homes’ indoor air quality. Such an analysis provides valuable information and can guide householders when they look at ways to improve air quality in their homes.
Dr Keywood said that the study is designed to look at the associations between indoor air quality and a wide range of factors such as building type, age and construction materials; and both indoor and outdoor sources of pollutants.
The survey will also determine whether seasonal conditions – or proximity to roads and transport – have an impact on indoor air quality.
The survey will begin in a few weeks and continues until April, 2009. Interested householders can obtain more information and a kit by contacting CSIRO on 03 9239 4400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research (CAWCR) [external link]
The Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research is a partnership between CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology.
Download images at: CSIRO air quality survey call for volunteers
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