Photo by Matt Schorr
David Padgett, PhD of Tennessee State University presents air quality findings during the dissemination workshop.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. Representatives of James A. Cayce Homes, CWA Apartments, the Martha O’Bryan Center, the Nashville Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA) and the Metro Public Health Department met with researchers from Meharry Medical College and Tennessee State University working in partnership with HIDE at the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance (MVA) Monday, April 25, during a dissemination workshop for the MVA 15-Year Mini Grant.
The Cayce community in Nashville suffers from one of the highest asthma rates in Davidson County due to poor air quality. HIDE, through funding from the mini grant, formed a partnership with Meharry Medical College, Tennessee State University and community members to investigate both indoor and outdoor environmental exposures. The partnership collected outdoor air samples in and around the Cayce community.
HIDE founder Kimberly Jackson, MS and her team -- Dr. James Ekundayo, MD, PhD of Meharry Medical College and David Padgett, PhD of Tennessee State University -- gave a project overview, including details of the disparate rates of asthma in the community. The workshop provided resources as a call-to-action for the residents, as well as an explanation on how to voice concerns about their community.
Their findings included the following:
- Primary indoor asthma triggers found to be particulate matter (PM), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and mold.
- IAQ Testing and Assessments measured presence of mold, moisture, PM, pest allergens and NO2, amongst other indoor pollutants.
- Pollutant Concentration Summary showed that the average Cayce home exceeded standards of 2.7 indoor air pollutants.
- Maps showed nearby sources of air pollution upwind from the community.
- Toxic substances are being released legally within two miles of the community.
- Location of I-24 to the community indicates a need for environmental engineering to alleviate pollution.
- Discovered recycled tires, a common replacement for mulch on community playgrounds, to be releasing a toxic substance into air.
As part of the dissemination, Jackson, Ekundayo and Padgett provided information on everyday changes to improve indoor air quality, offered “green” do-it-yourself cleaning products and gave tips for maintaining a healthy indoor environment.
HIDE is dedicated to addressing respiratory health disparities in vulnerable populations by providing education and research-base solutions.
About the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance
Founded in 1999, the Alliance bridges the institutions of Meharry Medical College and Vanderbilt University. Its mission is to enrich learning and advance clinical research by developing and supporting mutually beneficial partnerships between Meharry Medical College, Vanderbilt University and the communities they serve.