Document Type


Publication Date



Children are at risk for adverse health outcomes from occupant-controllable indoor airborne contaminants in their homes. Data are needed to design residential interventions for reducing low-income children's pollutant exposure. Using customized air quality monitors, we continuously measured fine particle counts (0.5 to 2.5 microns) over a week in living areas of predominantly low-income households in San Diego, California, with at least one child (under age 14) and at least one cigarette smoker. We performed retrospective interviews on home characteristics, and particle source and ventilation activities occurring during the week of monitoring. We explored the relationship between weekly mean particle counts and interview responses using graphical visualization and multivariable linear regression (base sample n = 262; complete cases n = 193). We found associations of higher weekly mean particle counts with reports of indoor smoking of cigarettes or marijuana, as well as with frying food, using candles or incense, and house cleaning. Lower particle levels were associated with larger homes. We did not observe an association between lower mean particle counts and reports of opening windows, using kitchen exhaust fans, or other ventilation activities. Our findings about sources of fine airborne particles and their mitigation can inform future studies that investigate more effective feedback on residential indoor-air-quality and better strategies for reducing occupant exposures.


This article was originally published in PLoS ONE, volume 12, issue 5, in 2017. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0177718


The authors

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.