Workshop on Extreme Heat and Ozone

Assessing Health Risks of Older Houstonians

Feb. 10, 2016

7:30 am – 2:00 pm MST

DePelchin Children’s Center, Houston
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February 10, 2016 | DePelchin Children’s Center, Houston

HOME-AIR is a new EPA-funded project that aims to better understand the linkages between outdoor and indoor air quality and thermal comfort, with the ultimate goal of reducing harmful exposure for at-risk populations.  Our team includes researchers and staff from the Houston Department of Health and Human Services, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), and Arizona State University.

The overall goals of this project are to:

  • develop a framework for quantifying current and future health risks of an older population to urban air pollution and extreme heat, indoors and outdoors;
  • improve understanding of how emerging trends in building design and management practices affect indoor air quality; and
  • build local capacity in reducing negative health outcomes during episodes of poor air quality and extreme heat.

The project will build upon our prior work exploring heat and air quality challenges in Houston. It will characterize social vulnerability, develop relationships among building characteristics, occupant behaviors and indoor air quality, and will facilitate a comprehensive understanding of the associated health outcomes. This will translate into policy, public health interventions, building design, management, and retrofit recommendations.

A one-day collaborative workshop, conducted by the Houston Department of Health, NCAR and Arizona State University will establish a working dialog between the local experts and the research team. Local expert knowledge is critical for interpretation and evaluation of available data sources, identification of additional information needed to achieve the project goals, establishment of knowledge gaps, and priorities for effective policy implementations. We will introduce the HOME-AIR goals and directions and seek input from the participants from public and private sectors on the health and air quality information needs, research and policy priorities, and vulnerability of older Houstonians to heat and ozone, especially indoors.

The workshop will include:

  • A researcher-stakeholder dialog around the issues of air quality, human health, climate, and building design and management.
  • Presentations from our research team and local experts.
  • Small group discussions about challenges, workable solutions, and specific recommendations for our research team. 
  • Recruitment of long-term care facilities for participation in the study.

The workshop is by invitation only. Invited participants can register here.

Questions can be addressed to the workshop organizers: Olga Wilhelmi (NCAR) and Mary Hayden (NCAR).