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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

UAlbany: Recent Home Renovation Exposure Associated with Poor Lung Function Among Children in China

A team including University at Albany School of Public Health MPH student Ms. Namratha Gurram, Dr. Michael S. Bloom, and Dr. Shao Lin recently investigated the associations between recent home renovation exposure and lung function in children through a study conducted in northeastern China. Their findings, published in Indoor Air, show a connection between recent home renovation exposure and poor lung function, emphasizing the need for strategies to protect homeowners and their families from respiratory issues both during and after construction projects.

For this research, 7,326 children were randomly recruited from seven cities in northeastern China. The children’s lung function was measured using spirometer recordings that measured air inhaled and exhaled. Information about home renovation projects was collected through a questionnaire completed by parents.

Results showed greater odds of diminished lung function among those exposed to home renovation in the past two years compared to those without home renovation. Of note, the associations were stronger among children exposed to new polyvinyl chloride (PVC) flooring compared to other materials. With the long-term health problems that can emerge from decreased lung function, it is evident that home renovation must be considered as a potential — and avoidable — respiratory hazard.

“I hope this study will be looked at by the Chinese government and will change home renovation policy or lead to certain protections for children,” says Ms. Namratha Gurram, who interned at the Sun Yat-sen University School of Public Health in Guangzhou, China, during summer 2018 and worked with the team on this research. “It is important that this topic is explored further.”

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