A new National Science Foundation grant led by civil and environmental engineering Professor Mark Hernandez will focus on the biological composition and toxicology of indoor aerosols in Colorado and the greater New Orleans area, including Dillard University where buildings sustained tremendous water damage from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The three-year $230,000 study is aimed at a comprehensive characterization of bioaerosol loads and their long-term toxicological effects. The study will include an assessment of the efficacy of applying a new generation of electrically enhanced air-filter technology to reduce indoor bioaerosol exposure.
Dillard buildings that have been previously identified as having elevated or dangerous indoor bioaerosol levels of pathogenic microbes will be retrofitted with electrostatically enhanced filters as part of the study. Dillard students also will be trained in modern bioaerosol assessment techniques.