American Indians living in the Navajo Nation are known to be at a higher risk for certain respiratory illness. In some settings there is a strong link between respiratory illnesses and indoor air pollution. Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health partnered with the United States Geological Survey to evaluate exposure to indoor air pollution in one Navajo community in New Mexico.
About the air quality study
This study aimed to measure the exposure to smoke in homes and to identify routine home activities such as cooking and cleaning that increased risk of smoke exposure.
Families who were already participating in other projects led by the center were offered the opportunity to enroll into this study. A person from each household was asked questions relating to smoke exposure such as the presence of a wood or coal stove and whether anyone in the home smoked cigarettes. Participants were also asked to keep a diary of cooking and cleaning activities for a 24 hour period. A small monitor (pictured above) was placed in the home that collected air samples to measure indoor air pollution.
Enrollment and study status
Air sampling data was available from 32 of the 40 households enrolled in the study. Preliminary findings suggest that some homes have high levels of indoor air pollution. Further studies on the effects of indoor air pollution on respiratory illness in this population are important to better understand risks and identify appropriate interventions. The Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health is working to identify appropriate strategies to reduce indoor air pollution and improve respiratory health.