Simple DIY air filter can be an effective way to filter out indoor air pollutants

December 21, 2022

A team of researchers from Brown University's School of Public Health, Brown’s School of Engineering, and Silent Spring Institute found that inexpensive, easy-to-assemble air filtration devices, called Corsi-Rosenthal boxes, not only protect against COVID-19, but they also reduce exposures to indoor air pollutants.

The study, which analyzed the effectiveness of Corsi-Rosenthal boxes installed at the School of Public Health to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, is the first peer-reviewed study of the efficacy of the boxes on indoor pollutants, according to the authors. The boxes were found to significantly decrease concentrations of several PFAS and phthalates, chemicals that are found in a wide range of consumer products and have been linked to various health problems, including asthma, reduced vaccine response, and some cancers. The findings appear in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. 

“The reduction of PFAS and phthalate levels is a wonderful co-benefit to the Corsi-Rosenthal boxes,” said study co-author Robin Dodson, a research scientist at Silent Spring Institute and expert in chemical exposures in the indoor environment. “These boxes are accessible, easy to make and relatively inexpensive, and they’re currently being used in universities and homes across the country.”

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Source: Brown University School of Public Health

Resources or References

Dodson, R.E., K.E. Manz, S.R. Burks, R. Gairola, N.F. Lee, Y. Liu, K.D. Pennell, E.D. Walker, and J.M. Braun. 2022. Does Using Corsi–Rosenthal Boxes to Mitigate COVID-19 Transmission Also Reduce Indoor Air Concentrations of PFAS and Phthalates. Environmental Science & Technology. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.2c05169