Behavioral Interventions for Air Pollution

Why is air pollution a problem?

Animated GIF listing the health consequences associated with air pollution. Well-documented links include premature death, cancer, asthma, low birth weight, pre-term birth, dementia, heart attack, COPD, and stroke. Suspected links include diabetes, autism, poor sleep, anxiety, hypertension, SIDS, kidney disease, learning difficulties, fetal harm, depression, crime, allergies, and Alzheimer's.

What can I do to improve my indoor air quality?

We all want to breathe clean air. Aside from making changes to your building—modifying your air handler, installing a kitchen range hood, and so on—there is plenty that you can do on a personal level to reduce your exposure to pollution. Improving air quality can be as simple as changing your family's behaviors around things like cooking and opening windows. Here are some resources that describe effective behavioral interventions that can make a difference to your indoor air quality.

Hear the Pollards' StoryJohn and Ashley smiling in the Pollard's Clean Air Chronicles video

Joshua and Ashleigh were participants in the Low Cost Monitoring Project, where they learned a lot about how behavior impacts indoor air quality. This video tells their story.

Watch Now

Tips to Reduce Exposure to Cooking Pollutants

This supplement to the ROCIS Range Hood Issue Brief is all about how you can limit your exposure to the pollutants produced by cooking in your home.pots and pans on induction stovetop

Learn More About Modifying Cooking Behaviors

pan on induction stove

Keep a Lid On It

Not only does cooking release odors and moisture into your home, it also pumps the air full of particles. This webinar with Tom Phillips will teach you how to effectively reduce exposure to cooking pollutants and odors.

Check Out the Webinar

Photograph of a kitchen stove with an open passthrough behind it with two baking sheets propped behind the back burners to divert airflow to the range hood above.

Channel the Air Flow in Your Kitchen

Check out this tip sheet on channeling the air flow from your stovetop and oven straight into your your range hood.

Read the Tip Sheet

particle pollution over a mountain with a smokestack

When Can I Open My Windows?

This presentation helps you think through when might be the appropriate time to open your windows, taking into consideration the pollution levels outside.

Should I Open My Windows?

How's the Weather?

Paying attention to local outdoor air quality can help you reduce your exposure to pollution. Southwestern PA suffers from inversions that can trap pollution close to the ground. When inversions are strong, stay inside and filter your air.

two side by side images of a city showing different particle pollution levelsLearn More About Inversions

Make Your Own Fan/Filter

woman with home made diy low cost fan filterOur page on Portable Air Cleaners includes instructions for building your own filtration device with a box fan and a high-MERV filter. Want to build your own?

Learn How to Build a DIY Fan Filter

Modify Your Kitchen Habits

Learn more about all the things that you can do to limit your exposure to the emissions produced when cooking.