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Evaluation of Indoor PM2.5 concentrations in a Native American community: A pilot study

August 4, 2021


Indoor air pollution is associated with adverse health effects; however, few studies exist studying indoor air pollution on the Navajo Nation in the southwest U.S., a community with high rates of respiratory disease.


Indoor PM2.5 concentration was evaluated in 26 homes on the Navajo Nation using real-time PM2.5 monitors. Household risk factors and daily activities were evaluated with three metrics of indoor PM2.5: time-weighted average (TWA), 90th percentile of concentration, and daily minutes exceeding 100 μg/m3. A questionnaire and recall sheet were used to record baseline household characteristics and daily activities.


The median TWA, 90th percentile, and daily minutes exceeding 100 μg/m3 were 7.9 μg/m3, 14.0 μg/m3, and 17 min, respectively. TWAs tended to be higher in autumn and in houses that used fuel the previous day. Other characteristics associated with elevated PM exposure in all metrics included overcrowded houses, nonmobile houses, and houses with current smokers, pets, and longer cooking time.


Some residents of the Navajo Nation have higher risk of exposure to indoor air pollution by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. Efforts to identify the causes and associations with adverse health effects are needed to ensure that exposure to risks and possible health impacts are mitigated.

Publication Year 2022
Title Evaluation of Indoor PM2.5 concentrations in a Native American community: A pilot study
DOI 10.1038/s41370-021-00373-x
Authors Nan Ji, Ana Rule, Robert Weatherholtz, Lynn M. Crosby, Joseph E. Bunnell, William H. Orem, Raymond R. Reid, Mathuram Santosham, Laura L. Hammitt, Katherine L. O’Brien
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology (JESEE)
Index ID 70219048
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Eastern Energy Resources Science Center