Volume 97, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Fine particulate matter (PM) is a risk factor for pneumonia; ventilation may be protective. We tested behavioral and structural ventilation interventions on indoor PM in Dhaka, Bangladesh. We recruited 59 good ventilation (window or door in ≥ 3 walls) and 29 poor ventilation (no window, one door) homes. We monitored baseline indoor and outdoor PM for 48 hours. We asked all participants to increase ventilation behavior, including opening windows and doors, and operating fans. Where permitted, we installed windows in nine poor ventilation homes, then repeated PM monitoring. We estimated effects using linear mixed-effects models and conducted qualitative interviews regarding motivators and barriers to ventilation. Compared with poor ventilation homes, good ventilation homes were larger, their residents wealthier and less likely to use biomass fuel. In multivariable linear mixed-effects models, ventilation structures and opening a door or window were inversely associated with the number of hours PM concentrations exceeded 100 and 250 μg/m. Outdoor air pollution was positively associated with the number of hours PM concentrations exceeded 100 and 250 μg/m. Few homes accepted window installation, due to landlord refusal and fear of theft. Motivators for ventilation behavior included cooling of the home and sunlight; barriers included rain, outdoor odors or noise, theft risk, mosquito entry, and, for fan use, perceptions of wasting electricity or unavailability of electricity. We concluded that ventilation may reduce indoor PM concentrations but, there are barriers to increasing ventilation and, in areas with high ambient PM concentrations, indoor concentrations may remain above recommended levels.


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  • Received : 25 Apr 2016
  • Accepted : 13 Apr 2017

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