The recruitment period for the first phase of the Healthy Homes Study has closed. We are not seeking additional participants at this time. Thank you for your interest!
What is the goal of this study?
The goal of this study is to collect information about indoor air quality in homes in California, and to better understand what factors affect indoor air quality. To achieve this goal, we plan to monitor indoor air quality parameters for one-week periods in homes in California, and to have the residents of these homes complete a survey about their household activities and appliance characteristics. We will primarily be studying homes that have natural gas appliances.
What exactly will I have to do?
If your home is selected for this project, you will be asked to participate based on one of two methods: (1) Have the air pollutant samplers mailed to your home, (2) Have a researcher visit your home.
Steps if the pollutant samplers are mailed to your home:
- A small package of air quality samplers will be mailed to your home, and someone in your home will need to receive the package and set up the samplers. Detailed instructions on how to set up the samplers will be provided and a researcher will be available by phone to answer any questions that you may have. The set up process should take less than 30 minutes, and may be completed in as little as 10 minutes.
- At the end of the scheduled 6-day sampling period, the samplers will need to be retrieved, sealed in an airtight bag and mailed back. All the packaging materials will be provided and postage will be prepaid.
- An English-speaking member of your household will need to provide information about the home and appliances through two telephone interviews, each taking 10-30 minutes. One interview will happen about 1-2 weeks before the sampling period; the other will happen at the end of the sampling period.
Steps if a researcher visits your home:
- One or two research staff will visit your home to set-up the air quality samplers and conduct a brief home inspection. Samplers will operate silently and most operate on battery power. There is one device that must be plugged in. The inspection will include measuring the size of your home, inspecting the appliances, taking some pictures of the appliances and reading your gas meter. We may also measure the ventilation rate of your home by releasing tiny amounts of a safe, odor-free chemical, and then measuring the level of that chemical in the air of your home. In all, the visit is expected to take about 60-90 minutes.
- At the end of the 6-day period, the researcher(s) will return to pick-up the air quality samplers, and read your gas meter again. This second visit will take about 30 minutes.
- An English-speaking member of your household would need to provide information about the home and appliances through two interviews, each taking 10-30 minutes. One interview will take place over the telephone about 1-2 weeks before the sampling period; the other will take place in person at the end of the sampling period at the time that the researchers make their second visit.
At some homes, a combination of these two approaches will be used, where a researcher will visit the home to set-up the samplers and will leave a prepaid envelope, so that the resident can mail the sampling package back.
A payment of $75 will be mailed to participants after they have completed the study as planned. The payment will be reduced by $25 for a delay of more than a week in returning the air samplers or completing the exit interview, unless the delay is out of the participant’s control.
Some individuals will be invited to participate in a second week of air sampling, if their home meets certain criteria. A $75 payment will be provided for each week of participation.
What will be the schedule of the study at my home?
If researchers visit your home, the visits will be scheduled sometime between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm on a Tuesday and again on the following Monday. If the air samplers are mailed to your home, then you will be asked to set-up the air samplers on a Tuesday and then repackage them on the following Monday. If this schedule does not work for you, other arrangements may be possible.
How will Lawrence Berkeley National Lab select the study participants?
To be eligible to participate in this study, your home must meet the following criteria: (1) Located in California, (2) Smoke-free home, (3) At least one adult resident that is willing and able to carryout the requirements of the study (see question #2 for a description of the requirements). Among the homes that are eligible, priority will be given to selecting homes that have natural gas appliances and other characteristics we think are likely to affect the indoor air quality.
How will you use information you collect from me and from my home?
The information that is collected about your home will only be used for the purpose of better understanding indoor air quality in California homes. Any information about your home used in reports will be kept anonymous. Information on your home or your contact information will not be released to anyone outside of the research staff for this study, and will not be used for any purpose other than for the study. With your permission, we may use your home address to find out information about your building from publicly available records, for example its age and size. If you have any further questions or concerns about how the information collected in this study will be used, please do not hesitate to contact us.