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HUD Awards Appalachian State University Almost $700,000 to Reduce Health and Safety Hazards in Housing

By Paul T. Choate

May 8, 2012. WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded $2.6 million in grants to four projects, including $696,810 to Appalachian State University, intended to protect children and families from health hazards in their homes. All four awards are presented to academic and non-profit institutions that advance the recognition and control of residential health and safety hazards to improve the understanding of the link between housing and health.

According to the Fiscal Year 2012 Healthy Homes Technical Studies Grant Abstracts, for a project titled “Indoor Air Quality and Energy Efficiency,” ASU will be awarded $696,810 in the fiscal year of 2012 Healthy Homes Technical Studies funds to compare measurements in two North Carolina communities (one community in the mountains, the other in the coastal region) before and after weatherization. Researchers will examine how weatherization may be changing indoor air contaminant concentrations (particulate matter, total volatile organic compounds, radon, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide) and carbon dioxide, temperature and relative humidity. The researchers will analyze the environmental measurement data in conjunction with participants’ daily logs, building characteristics, ventilation status and the weatherization measures that were implemented. The researchers will also test the effects of different ventilation strategies, including exhaust fans and energy recovery ventilators, on postweatherization contaminant levels, and they will perform one year follow-up monitoring on a subset of the study homes.

“HUD is committed to improving the nation’s technical capacity to provide every American with a healthy and safe home,” said Jon Gant, Director of HUD’s Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control in a media release. “These grants support the applied research that is needed to build the national capacity for meeting the Department’s goal of having every American’s home be safe and healthy.”

Also receiving grants today were Silent Spring Institute of Massachusetts, $699,793; The Center for Urban Studies at Wayne State University in Michigan, $692,221; and Health Research, Inc./New York State Department of Health, $500,000.

To view the full Healthy Homes Technical Studies Grant Abstracts summary of programs, click here.

For more information about the project at ASU, contact Charna Howson, Director of Sponsored Programs, at 828-262-7311 or howsonck@appstate.edu.