Green Public Housing May Reduce Health Risks from Environmental Pollutants

In a study published in October, 2015, by the American Public Health Association, researchers “examined associations of several health outcomes with green and conventional low-income housing, where the prevalence of morbidities and environmental pollutants is elevated. [The authors] used questionnaires and a visual inspection to compare sick building syndrome (SBS) symptoms and asthma-related morbidity among residents in multifamily units in Boston, Massachusetts, between March 2012 and May 2013. Follow-up was approximately 1 year later.”

The authors found that “adults living in green units reported 1.35 fewer SBS symptoms than those living in conventional (control) homes. Furthermore, asthmatic children living in green homes experienced substantially lower risk of asthma symptoms, asthma attacks, hospital visits, and asthma-related school absences than children living in conventional public housing….Participants living in green homes had improved health outcomes, which remained consistent over the study period. Green housing may provide a significant value in resource-poor settings where green construction or renovation could simultaneously reduce harmful indoor exposures, promote resident health, and reduce operational costs.”

To view the full study abstract, click here.  For a press released about the study, click here.