FRIDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- HEPA filters may help lower
the risk of cardiovascular disease caused by exposure to indoor air
pollution, a new study suggests.
Canadian researchers looked at 45 adults from 25 homes in a
small community where wood-burning stoves were the main sources of
pollution. HEPA (high-efficiency particle air) filters were placed
in each home's main activity room and in each participant's
The HEPA filter was operated normally during one seven-day
period and without the internal filters during another seven-day
period. The participants did not know when the filters were being
operated normally, the study authors noted.
Air sampling devices were installed in the homes, and the
participants were asked to record their activities, locations and
proximity to pollution sources every hour. Blood and urine samples
were collected from the participants at the end of each seven-day
The researchers found that the HEPA filters reduced levels of
airborne particulate matter, resulting in improved blood vessel
health and reductions in blood markers associated with an increased
risk of cardiovascular disease.
The study was published online Jan. 21 ahead of print in the
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care
"HEPA filters are a potentially useful intervention since they are relatively inexpensive to purchase and operate and can effectively remove tiny particles that can be inhaled, to improve air quality inside homes where the majority of time is spent," study author Ryan Allen, an assistant professor at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, said in a news release from the American Thoracic Society.
"The importance of residential wood smoke as a source of air pollution is likely to increase due to the rising costs of other fuels," he added.
The American Lung Association has more about
indoor air quality.