The Eltona/ Mount Sinai Hospital Health Study

Because the Bronx has some of the highest rates of asthma in the nation, residents of The Eltona—a 100% smoke-free, pet-free, green building—participated in a research study conducted over a two-year period by Mount Sinai Hospital to determine if living in the LEED-certified building impacted the respiratory health of its tenants. The study followed 40 people, age 10 months to 58 years, 61% of whom were children or adolescents, and 61% of whom had self-reported, medically diagnosed asthma. The study found that participants who had previously reported asthma symptoms 7.4 days per month were reporting these symptoms 18 months into the study only 1.3 days per month. Initially, 56% of the participants reported having asthma symptoms that lasted all day; at 6 months into the study, that percentage had dropped to 17%; at 12 months and 18 months, that percentage was 0%. Participating Eltona tenants received education in the use of green cleaning products and ways to reduce exposure to environmental asthma triggers. The study determined that nine months after receiving such education the new knowledge had been retained and behaviors had changed.

“Doctor visits for asthma symptoms decreased over time,” recounted Elizabeth Garland, MD, MS, Department of Preventive Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine. “We attribute these results to living in a smoke-free building, constructed with green materials, that has ample ventilation and good indoor air quality.”