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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(5), 497; doi:10.3390/ijerph14050497

Chemical Characterization of the Indoor Air Quality of a University Hospital: Penetration of Outdoor Air Pollutants

1
Research Lab Molecular Epidemiology, Radboud Institute for Health Sciences, Radboudumc, P.O. Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands
2
Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS), Utrecht University, Yalelaan 2, 3584 CM Utrecht, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Alessandra Cincinelli and Tania Martellini
Received: 24 March 2017 / Revised: 27 April 2017 / Accepted: 4 May 2017 / Published: 8 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Quality and Health 2016)
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Abstract

For healthcare centers, local outdoor sources of air pollution represent a potential threat to indoor air quality (IAQ). The aim of this study was to study the impact of local outdoor sources of air pollution on the IAQ of a university hospital. IAQ was characterized at thirteen indoor and two outdoor locations and source samples were collected from a helicopter and an emergency power supply. Volatile organic compounds (VOC), acrolein, formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), respirable particulate matter (PM-4.0 and PM-2.5) and their respective benz(a)pyrene contents were determined over a period of two weeks. Time-weighted average concentrations of NO2 (4.9–17.4 μg/m3) and formaldehyde (2.5–6.4 μg/m3) were similar on all indoor and outdoor locations. The median concentration VOC in indoor air was 119 μg/m3 (range: 33.1–2450 μg/m3) and was fivefold higher in laboratories (316 μg/m3) compared to offices (57.0 μg/m3). PM-4.0 and benzo(a)pyrene concentration were lower in buildings serviced by a >99.95% efficiency particle filter, compared to buildings using a standard 80–90% efficiency filter (p < 0.01). No indications were found that support a significant contribution of known local sources such as fuels or combustion engines to any of the IAQ parameters measured in this study. Chemical IAQ was primarily driven by known indoor sources and activities. View Full-Text
Keywords: acrolein; benz(a)pyrene; diesel engine exhaust; formaldehyde; helicopter engine exhaust; respirable dust; volatile organic compounds acrolein; benz(a)pyrene; diesel engine exhaust; formaldehyde; helicopter engine exhaust; respirable dust; volatile organic compounds
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Scheepers, P.T.J.; Van Wel, L.; Beckmann, G.; Anzion, R.B.M. Chemical Characterization of the Indoor Air Quality of a University Hospital: Penetration of Outdoor Air Pollutants. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 497.

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