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Open AccessConcept Paper

On the Development of Health-Based Ventilation Guidelines: Principles and Framework

Occupational and Environmental Health, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences “L. Sacco” University of Milan, IT-20157 Milan, Italy
University of Porto, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
INEGI-Institute of Science and Innovation in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
National Institute for Health and Welfare, FI-70701 Kuopio, Finland
European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Directorate for Health, Consumers and Reference Materials, 20127 Ispra, Italy
International Centre for Indoor Environment and Energy, Department of Civil Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, DK-2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1360;
Received: 7 June 2018 / Revised: 25 June 2018 / Accepted: 25 June 2018 / Published: 28 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality and Health)
This paper summarizes the results of HealthVent project. It had an aim to develop health-based ventilation guidelines and through this process contribute to advance indoor air quality (IAQ) policies and guidelines. A framework that allows determining ventilation requirements in public and residential buildings based on the health requirements is proposed. The framework is based on three principles: 1. Criteria for permissible concentrations of specific air pollutants set by health authorities have to be respected; 2. Ventilation must be preceded by source control strategies that have been duly adopted to improve IAQ; 3. Base ventilation must always be secured to remove occupant emissions (bio-effluents). The air quality guidelines defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) outside air are used as the reference for determining permissible levels of the indoor air pollutants based on the principle that there is only one air. It is proposed that base ventilation should be set at 4 L/s per person; higher rates are to be used only if WHO guidelines are not followed. Implementation of the framework requires technical guidelines, directives and other legislation. Studies are also needed to examine the effectiveness of the approach and to validate its use. It is estimated that implementing the framework would bring considerable reduction in the burden of disease associated with inadequate IAQ. View Full-Text
Keywords: indoor air quality; health risks; ventilation; building management indoor air quality; health risks; ventilation; building management
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Carrer, P.; De Oliveira Fernandes, E.; Santos, H.; Hänninen, O.; Kephalopoulos, S.; Wargocki, P. On the Development of Health-Based Ventilation Guidelines: Principles and Framework. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1360.

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