Special Issue "Indoor Air Pollution"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Air Quality".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Shelly L. Miller, PhD
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO, USA
Interests: urban air pollution including indoor air pollution; healthy and energy efficient building design; air pollution control technology including filtration and ultraviolet germicidal irradiation; indoor microbiomes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Indoor air pollution adversely affects human health. People spend 80–90% of their time indoors in many parts of the world, and, often, the concentration of air pollutants is higher indoors than it is outdoors. Thus, the possible adverse health effects associated with air pollution can be dominated by indoor air pollution. Air pollutants can also cause material damage to equipment and artifacts, and contaminate manufacturing processes. We invite you to consider submitting your research for publication in this Special Issue of the journal, focusing on “Indoor Air Quality”. The aim of this Special Issue is to communicate a selection of papers on the current state of science and engineering on indoor air quality. Relevant current issues include biomass combustion in the developing world, Indoor particulate matter from cooking and heating, indoor chemistry, health effects of indoor air pollutants, microbiology and bioaerosols indoors, indoor volatile organic compounds, low-cost sensors for the indoor environment, energy efficiency impacts, and indoor air quality in green buildings.

Prof. Shelly L. Miller, PhD
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Green Buildings
  • Particulate matter
  • Indoor chemistry
  • Health effects
  • Bioaerosols
  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Sensors
  • Exposure
  • Energy efficiency

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

Article
Dry-Heat Cooking of Meats as a Source of Airborne N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA)
Atmosphere 2019, 10(2), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10020091 - 20 Feb 2019
Viewed by 1529
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the airborne release of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) as a result of the dry-heat cooking of some meats using charcoal grilling and pan-broiling methods. Three types of meat (beef sirloin, pork belly, and duck) were chosen and cooked in [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the airborne release of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) as a result of the dry-heat cooking of some meats using charcoal grilling and pan-broiling methods. Three types of meat (beef sirloin, pork belly, and duck) were chosen and cooked in a temporary building using the above methods. Air samples were collected in Thermosorb-N cartridges, which were qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed for NDMA using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry and high-performance liquid chromatography–fluorescence detection, respectively. Overall, the charcoal grilling method showed higher average NDMA concentrations than the pan-broiling method for all types of meat. The highest average concentration was observed for charcoal-grilled beef sirloin (410 ng/m3) followed by pork belly, suggesting that meat protein content and cooking duration are important determinants of NDMA formation. Cancer risk assessment showed that the charcoal grilling of such meats can pose an additional cancer risk for restaurant customers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution)
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Article
VOCs Measurements in Residential Buildings: Quantification via Thermal Desorption and Assessment of Indoor Concentrations in a Case-Study
Atmosphere 2019, 10(2), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10020057 - 01 Feb 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1690
Abstract
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) represent one of the most important categories of pollutants, influencing the air quality and human health and well-being in indoor environments. In the present study, 12 selected VOCs were sampled using Tenax TA tubes and analyzed by thermal desorption [...] Read more.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) represent one of the most important categories of pollutants, influencing the air quality and human health and well-being in indoor environments. In the present study, 12 selected VOCs were sampled using Tenax TA tubes and analyzed by thermal desorption combined with gas chromatography and a flame ionization detector (TD-GC-FID). The TD-GC-FID method was optimized to obtain the separation of all the analytical peaks (including m- and p-xylene) and a satisfactory sensitivity, with low detection (between 0.14 and 0.31 ng) and quantification (between 0.47 and 1.02 ng) limits. The whole procedure was firstly assessed with the analysis of four co-located tubes exposed at an outdoor monitoring site, with results that revealed a very low inter-tubes variability (relative standard deviations of parallel measurements <5%). Then, the measurement protocol was used to quantify the indoor concentrations of the target VOCs in nine different homes during the dishwasher washing cycle. The most abundant detected VOC in all dwellings was d-limonene (mean: 231 µg/m3; maximum: 611 µg/m3). All the other compounds were monitored at concentration levels one or two orders of magnitude lower than d-limonene, and were generally comparable with those found in the scientific literature. In terms of health concerns, the measured concentrations were always well below the safe levels established for the protection of the general population in living environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution)
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Article
Impact of Biomass Home Heating, Cooking Styles, and Bread Toasting on the Indoor Air Quality at Portuguese Dwellings: A Case Study
Atmosphere 2018, 9(6), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9060214 - 01 Jun 2018
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2107
Abstract
This study evaluated the emissions of specific indoor sources usually present in Portuguese dwellings in order to understand their impact on the indoor air quality. With this aim, three typical activities were studied including home heating using two types of fireplaces (open and [...] Read more.
This study evaluated the emissions of specific indoor sources usually present in Portuguese dwellings in order to understand their impact on the indoor air quality. With this aim, three typical activities were studied including home heating using two types of fireplaces (open and closed) and biofuels (pinewood and briquettes), cooking styles (frying and boiling) in different types of kitchen appliances, and several levels of bread toasting. The levels of specific pollutants were found to be above the established Portuguese limit values including VOCs, formaldehyde, and particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10). Although these emissions are transient and short in duration, the resulting concentrations are high and can severely impact the occupants’ daily exposure. Besides promoting good ventilation, the choice of residential appliances with low emissions should be taken into account. In addition, it is important that occupants perform specific activities following the best practices so that their exposure to pollutants is minimized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution)
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Communication
A Comparative Study on the Statutory and Technical Regulations for Controlling Indoor Volatile Organic Compounds in Taiwan and Japan
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050195 - 18 May 2018
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1458
Abstract
The objective of this paper was to offer a comparative analysis of currently implemented statutory and technical regulations in Taiwan and Japan for volatile organic compounds (VOC) in indoor atmospheres. The findings should help to manage indoor air quality (IAQ) based on public [...] Read more.
The objective of this paper was to offer a comparative analysis of currently implemented statutory and technical regulations in Taiwan and Japan for volatile organic compounds (VOC) in indoor atmospheres. The findings should help to manage indoor air quality (IAQ) based on public and occupational health considerations. The first part of the present study summarizes the Indoor Air Quality Management Act in Taiwan and related regulations for building materials. We further highlight that Taiwan became the second country in the world to enact an IAQ management law in 2011. In addition, the permissible exposure limits (PEL) are also addressed to recognize safe levels of VOC concentrations below which adverse health effects are not expected to occur in the workplace environment. In the second part of the paper, the statuses of statutory and voluntary regulations for IAQ issues in Japan are compiled from the official websites of the central ministries, including the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. This analysis shows that both countries have adopted similar processes to establish the IAQ standard/guideline values and low-emission building materials, despite slight differences in their methods and central ministries. In contrast, the VOCs regulated by these regulations differ completely, with the exception of formaldehyde. Although the IAQ standards in Taiwan seem to be more stringent than those in Japan, Japan’s longer experience shows a diversity of management tools and regulations based on the guideline values. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution)
Article
Seasonal Variability of Airborne Particulate Matter and Bacterial Concentrations in Colorado Homes
Atmosphere 2018, 9(4), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9040133 - 02 Apr 2018
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3109
Abstract
Aerosol measurements were collected at fifteen homes over the course of one year in Colorado (USA) to understand the temporal variability of indoor air particulate matter and bacterial concentrations and their relationship with home characteristics, inhabitant activities, and outdoor air particulate matter (PM). [...] Read more.
Aerosol measurements were collected at fifteen homes over the course of one year in Colorado (USA) to understand the temporal variability of indoor air particulate matter and bacterial concentrations and their relationship with home characteristics, inhabitant activities, and outdoor air particulate matter (PM). Indoor and outdoor PM2.5 concentrations averaged (±st. dev.) 8.1 ± 8.1 μg/m3 and 6.8 ± 4.5 μg/m3, respectively. Indoor PM2.5 was statistically significantly higher during summer compared to spring and winter; outdoor PM2.5 was significantly higher for summer compared to spring and fall. The PM2.5 I/O ratio was 1.6 ± 2.4 averaged across all homes and seasons and was not statistically significantly different across the seasons. Average indoor PM10 was 15.4 ± 18.3 μg/m3 and was significantly higher during summer compared to all other seasons. Total suspended particulate bacterial biomass, as determined by qPCR, revealed very little seasonal differences across and within the homes. The qPCR I/O ratio was statistically different across seasons, with the highest I/O ratio in the spring and lowest in the summer. Using one-minute indoor PM10 data and activity logs, it was observed that elevated particulate concentrations commonly occurred when inhabitants were cooking and during periods with elevated outdoor concentrations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution)
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Article
Variation of Indoor Particulate Matter Concentrations and Association with Indoor/Outdoor Temperature: A Case Study in Rural Limpopo, South Africa
Atmosphere 2018, 9(4), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9040124 - 23 Mar 2018
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1864
Abstract
There is still a pressing concern regarding the causes of poor indoor air quality and the consequent effects on health, because people spend a considerable amount of time indoors. Information about seasonal variation and the determinants of particulate matter (PM) concentrations could guide [...] Read more.
There is still a pressing concern regarding the causes of poor indoor air quality and the consequent effects on health, because people spend a considerable amount of time indoors. Information about seasonal variation and the determinants of particulate matter (PM) concentrations could guide the design and implementation of intervention strategies. This study was conducted in Giyani, Limpopo province, South Africa. The main aim was to assess indoor air quality. Indoor PM and temperature were monitored to describe seasonal and diurnal patterns of indoor PM4 concentration and to estimate the association between PM concentrations and indoor as well as ambient conditions. Indoor PM4 was monitored hourly in kitchens for the duration of spring (September), summer (February) and winter (July). Indoor temperatures were monitored hourly in kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms. Outdoor temperature and outdoor relative humidity were also monitored for the same period. Indoor temperatures showed a large range in the three sampled seasons, with the maximum values raising the largest cause for concern. Maximum indoor temperatures in summer exceeded the threshold of 35 °C, which has been shown to have adverse health effects. Occupants of the sampled households were exposed to indoor PM4 concentrations that exceeded national and international guidelines. Hourly indoor temperature was statistically significantly correlated to PM4 concentrations in the summer and spring (r = 0.22 and 0.24 respectively, p < 0.001 for both) and negatively correlated to outdoor relative humidity (r = −0.27, p < 0.001). Diurnal PM4 variations showed pronounced patterns with morning and evening peaks. PM4 was consistently higher throughout the day in summer compared to spring and winter. Community-based intervention strategies should consider these seasonal differences in PM4 exposure and tailor awareness messages for exposure prevention accordingly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution)
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Article
Assessment of Bacterial Aerosol in a Preschool, Primary School and High School in Poland
Atmosphere 2018, 9(3), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9030087 - 27 Feb 2018
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 2239
Abstract
The issue of healthy educational buildings is a global concern because children are particularly at risk of lung damage and infection caused by poor indoor air quality (IAQ). This article presents the results of a preliminary study of the concentration and size distribution [...] Read more.
The issue of healthy educational buildings is a global concern because children are particularly at risk of lung damage and infection caused by poor indoor air quality (IAQ). This article presents the results of a preliminary study of the concentration and size distribution of bacterial aerosol in three educational buildings: a preschool, primary school, and high school. Sampling was undertaken in the classrooms with an Andersen six-stage impactor (with aerodynamic cut-off diameters of 7.0, 4.7, 3.3, 2.1, 1.1 and 0.65 μm) during spring 2016 and 2017, as well as the outside of the buildings. After incubation, bioaerosol particles captured on nutrient media on Petri dishes were quantitatively evaluated and qualitatively identified. The highest average concentration of bacterial aerosol was inside the primary school building (2205 CFU/m3), whereas the lowest average concentration of indoor culturable bacteria was observed in the high school building (391 CFU/m3). Using the obtained data, the exposure dose (ED) of the bacterial aerosol was estimated for children attending each educational level. The most frequently occurring species in the sampled bacterial aerosol were Gram-positive cocci in the indoor environment and Gram-positive rod-forming endospores in the outdoor environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution)
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Article
Evaluating the Sensitivity of the Mass-Based Particle Removal Calculations for HVAC Filters in ISO 16890 to Assumptions for Aerosol Distributions
Atmosphere 2018, 9(3), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9030085 - 26 Feb 2018
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2715
Abstract
High efficiency particle air filters are increasingly being recommended for use in heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems to improve indoor air quality (IAQ). ISO Standard 16890-2016 provides a methodology for approximating mass-based particle removal efficiencies for PM1, PM2.5, [...] Read more.
High efficiency particle air filters are increasingly being recommended for use in heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems to improve indoor air quality (IAQ). ISO Standard 16890-2016 provides a methodology for approximating mass-based particle removal efficiencies for PM1, PM2.5, and PM10 using size-resolved removal efficiency measurements for 0.3 µm to 10 µm particles. Two historical volume distribution functions for ambient aerosol distributions are assumed to represent ambient air in urban and rural areas globally. The goals of this work are to: (i) review the ambient aerosol distributions used in ISO 16890, (ii) evaluate the sensitivity of the mass-based removal efficiency calculation procedures described in ISO 16890 to various assumptions that are related to indoor and outdoor aerosol distributions, and (iii) recommend several modifications to the standard that can yield more realistic estimates of mass-based removal efficiencies for HVAC filters, and thus provide a more realistic representation of a greater number of building scenarios. The results demonstrate that knowing the PM mass removal efficiency estimated using ISO 16890 is not sufficient to predict the PM mass removal efficiency in all of the environments in which the filter might be used. The main reason for this insufficiency is that the assumptions for aerosol number and volume distributions can substantially impact the results, albeit with some exceptions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution)
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Article
Electrostatic Dust Cloth: A Passive Screening Method to Assess Occupational Exposure to Organic Dust in Bakeries
Atmosphere 2018, 9(2), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9020064 - 12 Feb 2018
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 1810
Abstract
Organic dust is widespread in the environment including occupational settings, such as bakeries. Recently, a new collection device—the electrostatic dust cloth (EDC)—has been described for the assessment of occupational exposures. The aim of this study was to investigate the suitability of EDC for [...] Read more.
Organic dust is widespread in the environment including occupational settings, such as bakeries. Recently, a new collection device—the electrostatic dust cloth (EDC)—has been described for the assessment of occupational exposures. The aim of this study was to investigate the suitability of EDC for identifying the distribution patterns and exposure concentrations of particulate matter and microbial contaminants such as fungi and bacteria in bakeries. Twelve bakeries were selected, and dust was allowed to settle for 13 to 16 days on EDCs (a total of 33 samples). Particle counts and size distribution (0.3 µm, 0.5 µm, 1 µm, 2.5 µm, 5 µm and 10 µm) were measured with direct-reading equipment. Higher EDC mass was significantly correlated (p values < 0.05) with higher fungal load on dichloran glycerol (DG18) and with particle size distribution in the 0.3 µm, 0.5 µm, 1.0 µm and 10.0 µm range. Fungal levels on malt extract agar (MEA) ranged from 0 to 2886 CFU/m2 EDC in the warehouse setting, 0 to 500 CFU/m2 EDC in the production setting, and 0 to 3135 CFU/m2 EDC in the store. Penicillium sp. (42.56%) was the most frequent fungi. Total bacterial load ranged from 0 to 18,859 CFU/m2 EDC in the warehouse, 0 to 71,656 CFU/m2 EDC in production, and 0 to 21,746 CFU/m2 EDC in the store. EDC assessment provided a longer-term integrated sample of organic dust, useful for identifying critical worksites in which particulate matter and bio-burden exposures are elevated. These findings suggest that EDC can be applied as a screening method for particulate matter-exposure assessment and as a complementary method to quantify exposures in occupational environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution)
Article
An Effective Surrogate Tracer Technique for S. aureus Bioaerosols in a Mechanically Ventilated Hospital Room Replica Using Dilute Aqueous Lithium Chloride
Atmosphere 2017, 8(12), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8120238 - 01 Dec 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1762
Abstract
Finding a non-pathogenic surrogate aerosol that represents the deposition of typical bioaerosols in healthcare settings is beneficial from the perspective of hospital facility testing, general infection control and outbreak analysis. This study considers aerosolization of dilute aqueous lithium chloride (LiCl) and sodium chloride [...] Read more.
Finding a non-pathogenic surrogate aerosol that represents the deposition of typical bioaerosols in healthcare settings is beneficial from the perspective of hospital facility testing, general infection control and outbreak analysis. This study considers aerosolization of dilute aqueous lithium chloride (LiCl) and sodium chloride (NaCl) solutions as surrogate tracers capable of representing Staphylococcus aureus bioaerosol deposition on surfaces in mechanically ventilated rooms. Tests were conducted in a biological test chamber set up as a replica hospital single patient room. Petri dishes on surfaces were used to collect the Li, Na and S. aureus aerosols separately after release. Biological samples were analyzed using cultivation techniques on solid media, and flame atomic absorption spectroscopy was used to measure Li and Na atom concentrations. Spatial deposition distribution of Li tracer correlated well with S. aureus aerosols (96% of pairs within a 95% confidence interval). In the patient hospital room replica, results show that the most contaminated areas were on surfaces 2 m away from the source. This indicates that the room’s airflow patterns play a significant role in bioaerosol transport. NaCl proved not to be sensitive to spatial deposition patterns. LiCl as a surrogate tracer for bioaerosol deposition was most reliable as it was robust to outliers, sensitive to spatial heterogeneity and found to require less replicates than the S. aureus counterpart to be in good spatial agreement with biological results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution)
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Article
The Impact of Residential Combustion Emissions on Health Expenditures: Empirical Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa
Atmosphere 2017, 8(9), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8090157 - 25 Aug 2017
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1580
Abstract
Residential combustion of fuels, especially solid, for cooking, heating and other activities generates high level emissions that considerably contribute to indoor and outdoor air pollutants concentrations, which adversely affect human health and are likely to influence heath expenditures. We used the system General [...] Read more.
Residential combustion of fuels, especially solid, for cooking, heating and other activities generates high level emissions that considerably contribute to indoor and outdoor air pollutants concentrations, which adversely affect human health and are likely to influence heath expenditures. We used the system General Method of Moments (GMM) technique to examine the role of residential combustion (proxied by: particulate matter (PM2.5), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions) in determining health expenditures while controlling for ambient air pollutants emissions from the other categories such as transportation, manufacturing industries and construction, and others. We employed data covering the period 1995–2010 in 44 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Health expenditures are categorized into per capita, public and private out-of-pocket; and we run three separate regressions according to the categories. The findings indicate that residential sector combustion was significantly associated with higher health expenditures, especially the out-of-pocket compared with other categories. Moreover, PM2.5 is found to have the highest impact on health expenditures. The implementation of effective public health and environmental health policies that encourage the access and use of cleaner fuels or improved cook stoves in SSA would be associated with not only a reduction in healthcare expenditures but also with other health and socio-economic benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution)
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