CU Population Center

Institute of Behavioral Science

Informing school decision-making during wildfire events: evaluation of indoor PM2.5 exposures and associated health impacts in children

Principal Investigator: Colleen Reid

Funder: EPA (R840232)

Current guidance states that schools should determine whether to close when impacted by wildfire smoke based on whether schools or children’s homes are likely to have better indoor air quality. Most schools and communities, however, do not have reliable information on PM2.5 levels inside and outside of their schools and homes to inform decisions about where children should shelter. This project collects data to inform the intervention of whether schools should stay open or closed during wildfire air pollution events. This study (1) evaluates to what extent indoor PM2.5 levels at schools are affected by wildfire smoke and which school-level factors influence the infiltration of PM2.5 into schools during wildfire events, (2) compares indoor school PM2.5 levels to indoor PM2.5 levels at students’ homes to inform decision-making related to keeping schools open during wildfire events, and evaluate which home-level factors influence the infiltration of PM2.5 into homes, and (3) assesses the relationship between PM2.5 levels inside and outside of schools and children’s respiratory health.