Abstract. In 2005, more immigrants came to live in Minnesota than in any of the preceding 25 years. Two of every five immigrants came from Africa where the hot climate is very different from that of Minnesota. In the hot climates of Africa, dwellings are not as tight as those in Minnesota, where buildings are designed to reduce energy use during both cold winters and increasingly hot summers. Cultural differences of the immigrant populations can also lead to closed apartments. The tightness of buildings can lead to an increased risk of poor indoor air quality which can lead to health problems. The purpose of this pilot study was threefold. The first purpose was to determine if an educational intervention training on controlling indoor air pollutants would impact the quality of the indoor air in the apartments of a subject group when compared to a control group. A three-hour intervention training was presented to the heads of households of the subject group to test this hypothesis. After the training, relative humidity and temperature, which was converted to vapor pressure, were measured in all dwellings. Carbon dioxide and volatile organic compounds were also measured in a subset of the both groups. In addition to the indoor air quality measurements, both subject and control groups were asked to response to questions on household maintenance practices such as use of cleaning products and on the use of equipment such as bath fans and humidifiers. Last, subject and control groups were asked to respond to questions both pre- and post-intervention on the adult learning theory known as Andragogy. Responses were compared to determine any differences between the groups. Although there were no significance differences between the responses of the groups on the home maintenance and equipment uses, or on the Andragogy questions, the subject group had significantly lower vapor pressure in their dwellings. Results of this pilot research inform future researchers a foundation for measuring indoor air pollutants in rental properties occupied by immigrant and non-immigrant families.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. October 2013. Major: Design, Housing and Apparel. Advisor: Becky L. Yust. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 136 pages, appendices A-I.
Heathy home assessment for immigrant and non-immigrant households i rental units in Minnesota.
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