Nurses’ Home Environment Study: Frequently Asked Questions


What is the purpose of this study?

The purpose of this study is to collect air, water, and dust samples from your home. These data will eventually be used in future studies to learn more about how environmental exposures in your home affect health.

Air Quality Monitor

What is the air quality monitor?

The air quality monitor measures air quality in your home, specifically particles (PM2.5). It also collects temperature and relative humidity.

Can I unplug the monitor during the study?

We ask that participants do not unplug the monitor at any time during the study, as this will affect the instrument’s ability to gather data accurately.

Can I move the monitor to a different room?

Please keep the monitor plugged in and in the same location for the entire duration of the study.

How much power will the air quality monitor use?

We have estimated that air quality monitor will use approximately $0.50 worth of power each week.

Passive Wristband Samplers

What are your wristbands made of?

The wristbands are made of silicone, similar to the silicone wristbands often sold by charity groups to raise awareness for a cause. The wristbands go through a cleaning process to remove background contaminants and then we add reference compounds to help us with the analysis once the wristband has been worn and returned.

How do I wear the wristband? Do I need to do anything special?

You wear the wristband like you wear a bracelet. Each one should be worn 24 hours a day for the full 7 days of the study and can be worn outside, in the shower, while cooking food, sleeping, etc. We do ask that you avoid applying lotion or personal care products directly to the wristband.

What happens if I drop my wristband?

If you drop the wristband, pick it up and put it back on.

Should I wear the wristband at work?

Yes. We ask that you wear it 24 hours per day. If you need to remove the wristband for clinical procedures, please place it in a secure location and put it back on as soon as possible.

I damaged my wristband, what should I do?

Depending on the damage (small tear, etc.), you may still be able to wear it without harming the ability of the wristband to sequester chemicals. Give the study staff a call or send an email and they will be able to advise you.


I am not comfortable answering some of the questions on the questionnaire, what should I do?

You are free to skip any of the questions on the questionnaire that you are uncomfortable with. However, please know that we have selected these questions carefully to provide key information about you and your sample and will keep all answers confidential.

I made a mistake on one of the questionnaires, what should I do?

If you have already submitted your online questionnaire but would like to change an answer, please contact the study research assistant. If you answered something incorrectly in the Beiwe app and haven’t submitted it, please use the back keys to navigate back to the question.  Otherwise, please email or call the study staff and we will be happy to assist.


I misplaced shipping materials (i.e. return label, box, etc.) What should I do?

If you have misplaced the shipping labels, send us an email or give us a call and we can mail or email you a new label.  If you have misplaced the larger shipping box, all of the materials can be packed in any box (please use paper, bubble wrap, etc. to cushion the air quality monitor).

I’m having trouble coordinating with FedEx to return my packages.

Give us a call or send an email, and we’ll be happy to schedule your FedEx Ground pickup for you. Then, you’ll just need to leave your box outside of your location of choice, and a FedEx courier will pick it up.  The package can also be dropped off at any FedEx Ground accepting location if that is easier.

If you don’t see your question here, please contact the study Research Assistant at or (617) 432-1553