Topic Editors

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606, USA
Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YW, UK
School of Civil Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
Department of Thermal Physics, Acoustic asnd Environment, Building Research Institute, ul. Filtrowa 1, 00-611 Warsaw, Poland

Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality

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closed (30 April 2022)
Manuscript submission deadline
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Topic Information

Dear Colleagues, 

Indoor air quality (IAQ) issues have grown in importance since the 1980s for protecting the health and well-being of the public. Many universities introduced indoor air quality courses for the first time during this period. Since then, ventilation standards have been developed over the years by professional associations for engineering design. The application of ventilation to solve IAQ problems has grown exponentially during the current COVID-19 crisis even though ventilation is not enough to eliminate the risk due to air-borne exposure of viruses. Ventilation is playing a critical role as a part of the larger strategy for resolving IAQ issues in modern buildings, schools, restaurants, and others. Poor indoor air quality has been linked to sick building syndrome, reduced productivity of office workers, and impaired learning over the last several decades. Ventilation can help us in controlling indoor humidity as well as contaminant levels. This Topic is aimed at providing the readers with a comprehensive summary of the case studies based on the current work being carried out in applying ventilation principles to solve IAQ problems. This Topic invites the authors to submit papers that exploit the science and technology associated with the ventilation/IAQ. It is strongly recommended that the authors provide a detailed description of the relevant procedures adopted in their respective studies. The papers may range from data collection to modelling to technology development.

This Topic on Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality invites you to submit papers across the broader spectrum of science and engineering (e.g., standards, emission rates, IAQ measurement, ventilation modelling, contaminant control, viruses, IAQ control, risk, life cycle assessment, data analysis, databases, technology, and online learning). The submission of research work by interdisciplinary teams and multi-country groups is of significant interest.

Prof. Dr. Ashok Kumar
Dr. Alejandro Moreno-Rangel
Dr. M. Amirul I. Khan
Prof. Dr. Michał Piasecki
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • sick building
  • indoor air quality
  • contaminant control
  • control technology
  • viruses
  • COVID-19
  • ventilation
  • IAQ education
  • IAQ monitoring
  • databases
  • life cycle assessment
  • IT
  • productivity
  • learning impact

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Atmosphere
atmosphere
2.5 4.6 2010 15.8 Days CHF 2400
Environments
environments
3.5 5.7 2014 25.7 Days CHF 1800
Buildings
buildings
3.1 3.4 2011 17.2 Days CHF 2600
Pollutants
pollutants
- - 2021 28.9 Days CHF 1000
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
ijerph
- 7.3 2004 24.3 Days CHF 2500

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Published Papers (20 papers)

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4 pages, 178 KiB  
Editorial
Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality
by Ashok Kumar, Alejandro Moreno-Rangel, M. Amirul I. Khan and Michał Piasecki
Atmosphere 2022, 13(10), 1730; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13101730 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2236
Abstract
Indoor air quality (IAQ) issues [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality)
17 pages, 993 KiB  
Article
Experimental Methods of Investigating Airborne Indoor Virus-Transmissions Adapted to Several Ventilation Measures
by Lukas Siebler, Maurizio Calandri, Torben Rathje and Konstantinos Stergiaropoulos
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(18), 11300; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191811300 - 8 Sep 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1860
Abstract
This study introduces a principle that unifies two experimental methods for evaluating airborne indoor virus-transmissions adapted to several ventilation measures. A first-time comparison of mechanical/natural ventilation and air purification with regard to infection risks is enabled. Effortful computational fluid dynamics demand detailed boundary [...] Read more.
This study introduces a principle that unifies two experimental methods for evaluating airborne indoor virus-transmissions adapted to several ventilation measures. A first-time comparison of mechanical/natural ventilation and air purification with regard to infection risks is enabled. Effortful computational fluid dynamics demand detailed boundary conditions for accurate calculations of indoor airflows, which are often unknown. Hence, a suitable, simple and generalized experimental set up for identifying the spatial and temporal infection risk for different ventilation measures is more qualified even with unknown boundary conditions. A trace gas method is suitable for mechanical and natural ventilation with outdoor air exchange. For an accurate assessment of air purifiers based on filtration, a surrogate particle method is appropriate. The release of a controlled rate of either trace gas or particles simulates an infectious person releasing virus material. Surrounding substance concentration measurements identify the neighborhood exposure. One key aspect of the study is to prove that the requirement of concordant results of both methods is fulfilled. This is the only way to ensure that the comparison of different ventilation measures described above is reliable. Two examples (a two-person office and a classroom) show how practical both methods are and how the principle is applicable for different types and sizes of rooms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality)
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28 pages, 10284 KiB  
Review
Indoor Air Quality: A Review of Cleaning Technologies
by Teresa M. Mata, António A. Martins, Cristina S. C. Calheiros, Florentina Villanueva, Nuria P. Alonso-Cuevilla, Marta Fonseca Gabriel and Gabriela Ventura Silva
Environments 2022, 9(9), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments9090118 - 7 Sep 2022
Cited by 47 | Viewed by 19213
Abstract
Aims: Indoor air quality (IAQ) has attracted increased attention with the emergence of COVID-19. Ventilation is perhaps the area in which the most changes have been proposed in response to the emergency caused by this virus. However, other strategies are possible, such as [...] Read more.
Aims: Indoor air quality (IAQ) has attracted increased attention with the emergence of COVID-19. Ventilation is perhaps the area in which the most changes have been proposed in response to the emergency caused by this virus. However, other strategies are possible, such as source control and the extraction of pollutants. The latter incorporates clean technologies, an emergent area with respect to IAQ. Method: Various air treatment technologies can be used to control contaminants, which are reviewed and discussed in this work, including physicochemical technologies (e.g., filtration, adsorption, UV-photocatalytic oxidation, ultraviolet disinfection and ionization) and biological technologies (e.g., plant purification methods and microalgae-based methods). Results and interpretation: This work reviews currently available solutions and technologies for “cleaning” indoor air, with a focus on their advantages and disadvantages. One of the most common problems in this area is the emission of pollutants that are sometimes more dangerous to human health than those that the technologies were developed to remove. Another aspect to consider is the limitation of each technology in relation to the type of pollutants that need to be removed. Each of the investigated technologies works well for a family of pollutants with similar characteristics, but it is not applicable to all pollutant types. Thus, the optimal solution may involve the use of a combination of technologies to extend the scope of application, in addition to the development of new materials, for example, through the use of nanotechnology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality)
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34 pages, 4607 KiB  
Article
A Performance-Based Window Design and Evaluation Model for Naturally Ventilated Offices
by Hardi K. Abdullah and Halil Z. Alibaba
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1141; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081141 - 1 Aug 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3977
Abstract
This study proposes a performance-based window design model for optimised natural ventilation potential by reducing the level of indoor carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration and improving thermal comfort, consequently minimising supplementary heating/cooling loads. The model consists of several stages: (1) Knowledge acquisition, [...] Read more.
This study proposes a performance-based window design model for optimised natural ventilation potential by reducing the level of indoor carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration and improving thermal comfort, consequently minimising supplementary heating/cooling loads. The model consists of several stages: (1) Knowledge acquisition, (2) establishing a relationship between window design and natural ventilation, (3) identifying performance criteria and the design of experiments (DOE), (4) conducting performance-based dynamic simulations, (5) evaluation of findings, and (6) making informed design decisions. The study also proposed an evaluation method by which assessments of indoor CO2 concentration and adaptive thermal comfort are performed using the threshold suggested by the World Health Organisation (WHO, Geneva, Switzerland) and the acceptability categories of the British/European standard BS EN 15251:2007. The proposed model was applied to a single office inspired by the staff offices at the Department of Architecture, Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta, North Cyprus. The findings show that the developed model of performance-based window design enables the handling of various window design variables along with different performance criteria to determine the near-optimal window design alternatives for effective natural ventilation (NV) and mixed-mode (MM) offices. This model can guide architects in making informed decisions in the early stages of office window design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality)
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10 pages, 733 KiB  
Article
Impact of Preventive Measures on Subjective Symptoms and Antigen Sensitization against Japanese Cedar, Cypress Pollen and House Dust Mites in Patients with Allergic Rhinitis: A Retrospective Analysis in the COVID-19 Era
by Takashi Oda, Fumiaki Maeda, Sachio Takeno, Yuri Tsuru, Chie Ishikawa, Takashi Ishino, Kota Takemoto, Takao Hamamoto, Tsutomu Ueda, Tomohiro Kawasumi, Hiroshi Iwamoto, Kazunori Kubota, Yoshio Nakao and Masaru Kunimoto
Atmosphere 2022, 13(7), 1000; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13071000 - 21 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1908
Abstract
For >2 years, Japan’s government has been urging the populace to take countermeasures to prevent COVID-19, including mask wearing. We examined whether these preventive behaviors have affected the rate and degree of sensitization against pollen and house dust antigens in patients with allergic [...] Read more.
For >2 years, Japan’s government has been urging the populace to take countermeasures to prevent COVID-19, including mask wearing. We examined whether these preventive behaviors have affected the rate and degree of sensitization against pollen and house dust antigens in patients with allergic rhinitis. We retrospectively surveyed 2565 patients who had undergone allergy blood testing during the period 2015–2021. We subdivided this period into eras based on the COVID-19 pandemic: the pre-COVID (2015–2019, n = 1879) and COVID (2020–2021, n = 686) eras. The positive rates for Japanese cedar and cypress in the 40–59-year-olds and those for house dust in the 20–39-year-olds were significantly reduced in the COVID era versus those in the pre-COVID era. Each group’s mean antigen-specific CAP scores decreased significantly from the 1st to 2nd era: from 1.98 to 1.57 for cedar (p < 0.01), 1.42 to 0.95 for cypress (p < 0.05), and 2.86 to 2.07 for house dust (p < 0.01). Our survey of the patients’ clinical records indicates that 47.5% of the pollinosis patients reported improvement in nasal symptoms after the three seasons of pollen dispersion in the COVID era. Japan’s quarantine policies designed to combat the spread of COVID-19 thus coincide with pivotal measures to alleviate allergic reactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality)
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23 pages, 8666 KiB  
Article
Window-Windcatcher for Enhanced Thermal Comfort, Natural Ventilation and Reduced COVID-19 Transmission
by Odi Fawwaz Alrebei, Laith M. Obeidat, Shouib Nouh Ma’bdeh, Katerina Kaouri, Tamer Al-Radaideh and Abdulkarem I. Amhamed
Buildings 2022, 12(6), 791; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12060791 - 9 Jun 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2992
Abstract
We investigate and test the effectiveness of a novel window windcatcher device (WWC), as a means of improving natural ventilation in buildings. Using ANSYS CFX, the performance of the window-windcatcher is compared to a control case (no window-windcatcher), in three different geographic locations [...] Read more.
We investigate and test the effectiveness of a novel window windcatcher device (WWC), as a means of improving natural ventilation in buildings. Using ANSYS CFX, the performance of the window-windcatcher is compared to a control case (no window-windcatcher), in three different geographic locations (Cardiff, Doha and Amman) which are representative of three different types of atmospheric conditions. The proposed window-windcatcher has been shown to improve both thermal comfort and indoor air quality by increasing the actual-to-required ventilation ratio by up to 9% compared to the control case as per the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards. In addition, the locations with minimum velocities have been identified. Those locations correspond to the regions with a lower infection risk of spreading airborne viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, which is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality)
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14 pages, 6584 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Typical Volatile Organic Compounds Levels in New Vehicles under Static and Driving Conditions
by Ruihua Guo, Xiaofeng Zhu, Zuogang Zhu, Jianhai Sun, Yongzhen Li, Wencheng Hu and Shichuan Tang
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(12), 7048; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19127048 - 9 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1777
Abstract
In modern societies, the air quality in vehicles has received extensive attention because a lot of time is spent within the indoor air compartment of vehicles. In order to further understand the level of air quality under different conditions in new vehicles, the [...] Read more.
In modern societies, the air quality in vehicles has received extensive attention because a lot of time is spent within the indoor air compartment of vehicles. In order to further understand the level of air quality under different conditions in new vehicles, the vehicle interior air quality (VIAQ) in new vehicles with three different brands was investigated under static and driving conditions, respectively. Air sampling and analysis are conducted under the requirement of HJ/T 400-2007. Static vehicle tests demonstrate that with the increasing of vehicle interior air temperature in sunshine conditions, a higher concentration and different types of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) release from the interior materials than that in the environment test chamber, including alkanes, alcohols, ketones, benzenes, alkenes, aldehydes, esters and naphthalene. Driving vehicle tests demonstrate that the concentration of VOCs and total VOCs (TVOC) inside vehicles exposed to high temperatures will be reduced to the same level as that in the environment test chamber after a period of driving. The air pollutants mainly include alkanes and aromatic hydrocarbons. However, the change trends of VOCs and TVOC vary under different conditions according to various kinds of factors, such as vehicle model, driving speed, air exchange rate, temperature, and types of substance with different boiling points inside the vehicles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality)
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10 pages, 708 KiB  
Article
Mediating Factors Explaining the Associations between Solid Fuel Use and Self-Rated Health among Chinese Adults 65 Years and Older: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach
by Qiutong Yu, Yuqing Cheng, Wei Li and Genyong Zuo
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(11), 6904; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19116904 - 5 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2482
Abstract
Exposure to indoor air pollution from cooking with solid fuel has been linked with the health of elderly people, although the pathway to their association is unclear. This study aimed to investigate the mediating effects between solid fuel use and self-rated health by [...] Read more.
Exposure to indoor air pollution from cooking with solid fuel has been linked with the health of elderly people, although the pathway to their association is unclear. This study aimed to investigate the mediating effects between solid fuel use and self-rated health by using structural equation modeling (SEM) with the baseline data from Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS). We conducted a cross-sectional survey among 7831 elderly people aged >65 years from the CLHLS. SEM was used to analyze the pathways underlying solid fuel use and self-rated health. We estimated indirect effects of sleep quality (β = −0.027, SE = 0.006), cognitive abilities (β = −0.006, SE = 0.002), depressive symptoms (β = −0.066, SE = 0.007), systolic blood pressure (β = 0.000, SE = 0.000), and BMI (β = −0.000, SE = 0.000) on the association between solid fuel and the self-rated health using path analysis. Depressive symptoms emerged as the strongest mediator in the relationship between solid fuel use and self-rated health in the elderly. Interventions targeting sleep quality, cognitive abilities, depressive symptoms, systolic blood pressure, and BMI could greatly reduce the negative effects of solid fuel use on the health of the elderly population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality)
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20 pages, 3217 KiB  
Article
A Time-Varying Model for Predicting Formaldehyde Emission Rates in Homes
by Haoran Zhao, Iain S. Walker, Michael D. Sohn and Brennan Less
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(11), 6603; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19116603 - 28 May 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1995
Abstract
Recent studies have succeeded in relating emissions of various volatile organic compounds to material mass diffusion transfer using detailed empirical characteristics of each of the individual emitting materials. While significant, the resulting models are often scenario specific and/or require a host of individual [...] Read more.
Recent studies have succeeded in relating emissions of various volatile organic compounds to material mass diffusion transfer using detailed empirical characteristics of each of the individual emitting materials. While significant, the resulting models are often scenario specific and/or require a host of individual component parameters to estimate emission rates. This study developed an approach to estimate aggregated emissions rates based on a wide number of field measurements. We used a multi-parameter regression model based on previous mass transfer models to predict formaldehyde emission rate for a whole dwelling using field-measured, time-resolved formaldehyde concentrations, air exchange rates, and indoor environmental parameters in 63 California single-family houses built between 2011 and 2017. The resulting model provides time-varying formaldehyde emission rates, normalized by floor area, for each study home, assuming a well-mixed mass balance transport model of the home, and a well-mixed layer transport model of indoor surfaces. The surface layer model asserts an equilibrium concentration within the surface layer of the emitted materials that is a function of temperature and RH; the dwelling ventilation rate serves as a surrogate for indoor concentration. We also developed a more generic emission model that is suitable for broad prediction of emission for a population of buildings. This model is also based on measurements aggregated from 27 homes from the same study. We showed that errors in predicting household formaldehyde concentrations using this approach were substantially less than those using a traditional constant emission rate model, despite requiring less unique building information. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality)
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26 pages, 1114 KiB  
Article
Volatile Organic Compounds in Finnish Office Environments in 2010–2019 and Their Relevance to Adverse Health Effects
by Kaisa Wallenius, Hanna Hovi, Jouko Remes, Selma Mahiout and Tuula Liukkonen
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(7), 4411; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19074411 - 6 Apr 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2723
Abstract
We gathered recent (2010–2019) data on the VOC and formaldehyde levels in Finnish non-industrial indoor work environments. The data comprised 9789 VOC and 1711 formaldehyde samples collected from the indoor air of offices, schools, kindergartens, and healthcare offices. We assessed the health risks [...] Read more.
We gathered recent (2010–2019) data on the VOC and formaldehyde levels in Finnish non-industrial indoor work environments. The data comprised 9789 VOC and 1711 formaldehyde samples collected from the indoor air of offices, schools, kindergartens, and healthcare offices. We assessed the health risks by comparing the measured concentrations to the health-based RW I/II and EU-LCI reference values. The concentrations of individual VOCs and formaldehyde in these work environments were generally very low and posed no health risks. Total VOC concentration (TVOC) as well as concentrations of several individual compounds, including aromatic compounds, alkanes, 2-ethyl-1-hexanol, and formaldehyde, showed clearly decreasing trends. In contrast, several aldehydes, acids, and a few other compounds showed increasing trends. However, the increasing trends did not seem to affect the higher ends of the distributions, as the 95th percentile values remained fairly stable or decreased over the years. The VOC patterns in the environments of the offices, schools, kindergartens, and healthcare offices varied, probably reflecting the differences in typical activities and the use of materials. However, we do not expect these differences to be relevant to health outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality)
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17 pages, 4071 KiB  
Article
Model to Balance an Acceptable Radon Level Indoors
by Torben Valdbjørn Rasmussen and Thomas Cornelius
Buildings 2022, 12(4), 447; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12040447 - 5 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2171
Abstract
A theoretical model is presented for balancing an acceptable radon concentration in indoor air. The infiltration of radon from the ground to the indoor air can be controlled by barriers or by lowering the air pressure at the lower zone of the ground [...] Read more.
A theoretical model is presented for balancing an acceptable radon concentration in indoor air. The infiltration of radon from the ground to the indoor air can be controlled by barriers or by lowering the air pressure at the lower zone of the ground slab. Indoor air with a radon concentration higher than that of outdoor air can further be controlled through the effective dilution of indoor air with outdoor air. The theory estimates the allowed radon infiltration from the ground to balance radon at an acceptable level indoors for a given ventilation rate, considering the radon contribution to the indoor air from indoor materials, building materials and the interior. A method using this theory is presented, identifying the necessary airtightness required for a radon barrier to balance the acceptable radon concentration for a building. Barriers include commercially used system solutions, such as bitumen-based radon blockers, wet-room membranes, reinforced fixed mortar pastes, and polyethene membranes. An acceptable indoor radon concentration of between 100 and 300 Bq/m3 in indoor air is used. Barriers are evaluated by their ability to prevent soil gas penetration from the ground in combination with their effect on the building durability, as barriers may create a far more vulnerable building. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality)
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17 pages, 516 KiB  
Article
Securing Smokefree Laws Covering Casinos and Bars in Louisiana via Messaging, Continuous Campaigning and Health Coalitions
by Tanner D. Wakefield and Stanton A. Glantz
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(7), 3936; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19073936 - 25 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2276
Abstract
In this paper, we examine efforts by health organizations seeking comprehensive smokefree ordinances over Louisiana casinos and bars between 2010 and 2020 to determine best practices for increasing coverage. Bars and casinos remain less protected from secondhand smoke compared to other workplaces in [...] Read more.
In this paper, we examine efforts by health organizations seeking comprehensive smokefree ordinances over Louisiana casinos and bars between 2010 and 2020 to determine best practices for increasing coverage. Bars and casinos remain less protected from secondhand smoke compared to other workplaces in the United States. Casino behavior is compared to the Policy Dystopia Model (PDM), a tobacco industry strategy framework. We performed a historical case study using snowball searches for news on the Access World News Database and the internet. We performed web searches using the names of key actors, organizations, and locations and interviewed nine participants. Starting in 2010, the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living ran ordinance campaigns supplemented by an ongoing statewide smokefree media initiative. Utilizing consistent strategies, including promoting performers as cultural emblems deserving protection, health organizations coalesced in New Orleans during 2014 and Baton Rouge in 2016 and 2017 to pursue ordinances. The coalitions secured ordinances in Louisiana’s population and tourism centers despite business resistance. Organizations obtained 30 smokefree laws across Louisiana by 2021. Casinos used PDM strategies to resist ordinances, indicating the framework may predict strategies by non-tobacco entities resisting tobacco control. Louisiana shows that ongoing local campaigns, social justice themes and cultural messaging with coalitions in cities can secure smokefree laws covering casinos and bars and that local ordinance campaigns are a viable method for advancing smokefree protections over those venues in states where the state legislatures are resistant to action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality)
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23 pages, 4968 KiB  
Article
Modeling the Airborne Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in Public Transport
by Christina Matheis, Victor Norrefeldt, Harald Will, Tobias Herrmann, Ben Noethlichs, Michael Eckhardt, André Stiebritz, Mattias Jansson and Martin Schön
Atmosphere 2022, 13(3), 389; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13030389 - 25 Feb 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2252
Abstract
This study presents the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the main types of public transport vehicles and stations to comparatively assess the relative theoretical risk of infection of travelers. The presented approach benchmarks different measures to reduce potential exposure in public transport and compares [...] Read more.
This study presents the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the main types of public transport vehicles and stations to comparatively assess the relative theoretical risk of infection of travelers. The presented approach benchmarks different measures to reduce potential exposure in public transport and compares the relative risk between different means of transport and situations encountered. Hence, a profound base for the selection of measures by operators, travelers and staff is provided. Zonal modeling is used as the simulation method to estimate the exposure to passengers in the immediate vicinity as well as farther away from the infected person. The level of exposure to passengers depends on parameters such as the duration of stay and travel profile, as well as the ventilation situation and the wearing of different types of masks. The effectiveness of technical and behavioral measures to minimize the infection risk is comparatively evaluated. Putting on FFP2 (N95) masks and refraining from loud speech decreases the inhaled viral load by over 99%. The results show that technical measures, such as filtering the recirculated air, primarily benefit passengers who are a few rows away from the infected person by reducing exposure 84–91%, whereas near-field exposure is only reduced by 30–69%. An exception is exposure in streetcars, which in the near-field is 17% higher due to the reduced air volume caused by the filter. Thus, it can be confirmed that the prevailing measures in public transport protect passengers from a high theoretical infection risk. At stations, the high airflows and the large air volume result in very low exposures (negligible compared to the remaining means of transport) provided that distance between travelers is kept. The comparison of typical means of transport indicates that the inhaled quanta dose depends primarily on the duration of stay in the vehicles and only secondarily on the ventilation of the vehicles. Due to the zonal modeling approach, it can also be shown that the position of infected person relative to the other passengers is decisive in assessing the risk of infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality)
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9 pages, 431 KiB  
Article
A Study on the Measurement of Unregulated Pollutants in Korean Residential Environments
by Hyuntae Kim, Taewoo Kim and Sihwan Lee
Buildings 2022, 12(2), 243; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12020243 - 19 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1742
Abstract
This study investigated the pollution caused by unregulated chemical substances in Korean residential environments. A TA tube was used for indoor air collection, and Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry was used for the analysis of chemical substances. According to the results of this study, 13 [...] Read more.
This study investigated the pollution caused by unregulated chemical substances in Korean residential environments. A TA tube was used for indoor air collection, and Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry was used for the analysis of chemical substances. According to the results of this study, 13 substances out of the 16 analyzed chemicals were detected and, among them, the concentrations of phenol, α-pinene, and limonene within the indoor air were high. The average concentration of phenol was 32.7 µg/m3. α-pinene and limonene were detected, of which the highest concentrations were as 598.2 µg/m3 and 652.5 µg/m3, respectively. The maximum concentrations of these three substances exceeded the levels of the lowest concentration of interest. Notably, α-pinene and limonene were released from the wood itself. Wood has been widely used indoors as a natural building material and as furniture. Therefore, it was considered that this was the reason for the high the concentrations of the two substances in indoor air. However, we do not argue that the usage of wood should be reduced because of the results obtained in this study. Instead, we sµggest that it is important to reduce the emissions of α-pinene and limonene throµgh the processing of the wood, extending its drying period, and determining the most appropriate time of use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality)
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27 pages, 5645 KiB  
Article
Performance of Modern Passive Stack Ventilation in a Retrofitted Nordic Apartment Building
by Ilia Kravchenko, Risto Kosonen, Juha Jokisalo and Simo Kilpeläinen
Buildings 2022, 12(2), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12020096 - 20 Jan 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3470
Abstract
The paper analyses the performance of a five-storey apartment building equipped with modern passive stack ventilation in Nordic conditions. The passive stack ventilation system was retrofitted in 2019, and novel self-regulating air inlet devices with filters were equipped. The building was simulated with [...] Read more.
The paper analyses the performance of a five-storey apartment building equipped with modern passive stack ventilation in Nordic conditions. The passive stack ventilation system was retrofitted in 2019, and novel self-regulating air inlet devices with filters were equipped. The building was simulated with IDA ICE software, where the model of the self-regulating terminal units was developed using manufacturer product data. Several case scenarios were created to analyze the effects of poor maintenance, improved airtightness, and window opening on the system performance. For the analysis, one-room and three-room apartments on the second and fifth floors have been chosen. The CO2 concentration and indoor air temperature were analyzed and compared with EN 16798-1 standard guidelines. The results show a significant effect of poor maintenance and possibility to open windows on the CO2 concentration. The results also show a trend for the one-room apartments to overheat despite having a higher air change rate than the three-room apartments. The three-room apartments tolerate over-heating, although they are much more sensitive to poor maintenance. Furthermore, the apartments on the fifth floor are even more sensitive to poor maintenance, and three-room apartments there showed warning levels of CO2. Improving the envelope airtightness does not benefit the IAQ of the apartments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality)
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11 pages, 274 KiB  
Article
Indoor Air Quality and Health Outcomes in Employees Working from Home during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Pilot Study
by Taehyun Roh, Alejandro Moreno-Rangel, Juha Baek, Alexander Obeng, Nishat Tasnim Hasan and Genny Carrillo
Atmosphere 2021, 12(12), 1665; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12121665 - 11 Dec 2021
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 12777
Abstract
Indoor air quality (IAQ) has a substantial impact on public health. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, more employees have worked remotely from home to minimize in-person contacts. This pilot study aims to measure the difference in workplace IAQ before and during [...] Read more.
Indoor air quality (IAQ) has a substantial impact on public health. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, more employees have worked remotely from home to minimize in-person contacts. This pilot study aims to measure the difference in workplace IAQ before and during the pandemic and its impact on employees’ health. The levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and total volatile organic chemicals (tVOC) were measured in the employees’ offices before the COVID-19 pandemic and at homes while working from home during the pandemic using Foobot air monitors. The frequencies of six sick building syndrome (SBS) symptoms were evaluated at each period of monitoring. The result showed PM2.5 levels in households while working from home were significantly higher than in offices while working at the office for all participants (p < 0.05). The PM2.5 levels in all households exceeded the health-based annual mean standard (12 µg/m3), whereas 90% of offices were in compliance. The tVOC levels were all below the standard (500 µg/m3). We also found a higher frequency of SBS symptoms were observed while working from home as the IAQ was worse at home. This study suggested that working from home might have a detrimental health impact due to poor IAQ and providing interventions to remote employees should be considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality)
15 pages, 4369 KiB  
Article
Investigation of Airflow Distribution and Contamination Control with Different Schemes in an Operating Room
by Fujen Wang, Indra Permana, Dibakar Rakshit and Bowo Yuli Prasetyo
Atmosphere 2021, 12(12), 1639; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12121639 - 8 Dec 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3880
Abstract
Controlling contamination via proper airflow distribution in an operating room becomes vital to ensure the reliable surgery process. The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems significantly influence the operating room environment, including temperature, relative humidity, pressurization, particle counts, filtration, and ventilation rate. [...] Read more.
Controlling contamination via proper airflow distribution in an operating room becomes vital to ensure the reliable surgery process. The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems significantly influence the operating room environment, including temperature, relative humidity, pressurization, particle counts, filtration, and ventilation rate. A full-scale operating room has been investigated extensively through field measurements and numerical analyses. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation was conducted and verified with the field measurement data. The simulation was analyzed with three different operating room schemes, including at-rest conditions (case 1), normal operational conditions with personnel (case 2), and actual conditions with personnel inside and some medical equipment blocking the return air (case 3). The concentration decay method was used to evaluate this study. The results revealed that the contamination concentration in case 1 could be diluted quickly with the average value of 404 ppm, whereas the concentration in case 2 slightly increased while performing a surgery with the average value of 420 ppm. The return air grilles in case 3, blocked by obstacles from some medical equipment, resulted in the average concentration value of 474 ppm. Other than that, the contaminant dilution could be obstructed dramatically, which revealed that proper and smooth airflow distribution is essential for contamination control. The ventilation efficiency of case 2 and case 3 dropped around 6% and 17.91% compared to case 1 in the unoccupied and ideal condition. Ventilation efficiency also decreased along with decreasing the air change rate per hour (ACH), while with increasing ACH, the ventilation efficiency in case 3 actually increased, approaching case 2 in the ideal condition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality)
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18 pages, 6729 KiB  
Article
Indoor Air Quality Assessment of Latin America’s First Passivhaus Home
by Alejandro Moreno-Rangel, Filbert Musau, Tim Sharpe and Gráinne McGill
Atmosphere 2021, 12(11), 1477; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12111477 - 8 Nov 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3309
Abstract
Sustainable building design, such as the Passivhaus standard, seeks to minimise energy consumption, while improving indoor environmental comfort. Very few studies have studied the indoor air quality (IAQ) in Passivhaus homes outside of Europe. This paper presents the indoor particulate matter (PM2.5 [...] Read more.
Sustainable building design, such as the Passivhaus standard, seeks to minimise energy consumption, while improving indoor environmental comfort. Very few studies have studied the indoor air quality (IAQ) in Passivhaus homes outside of Europe. This paper presents the indoor particulate matter (PM2.5), carbon dioxide (CO2), and total volatile organic compounds (tVOC) measurements of the first residential Passivhaus in Latin America. It compares them to a standard home in Mexico City. Low-cost monitors were installed in the bedroom, living room, and kitchen spaces of both homes, to collect data at five-minute intervals for one year. The physical measurements from each home were also compared to the occupants’ IAQ perceptions. The measurements demonstrated that the Passivhaus CO2 and tVOC annual average levels were 143.8 ppm and 81.47 μg/m3 lower than the standard home. The PM2.5 in the Passivhaus was 11.13 μg/m3 lower than the standard home and 5.75 μg/m3 lower than outdoors. While the results presented here cannot be generalised, the results suggest that Passivhaus dwellings can provide better and healthier indoor air quality in Latin America. Further, large-scale studies should look at the indoor environmental conditions, energy performance, and dwelling design of Passivhaus dwellings in Latin America. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality)
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15 pages, 511 KiB  
Article
Indoor Air Quality Certification and Consumers’ Willingness: Taiwan’s Experience and Survey
by Chih-Pei Hu and Jen-Hsiung Cheng
Atmosphere 2021, 12(10), 1320; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12101320 - 9 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2104
Abstract
People spend about 80–90% of their time in indoor environments, and poor indoor air quality (IAQ) can seriously endanger people’s health, work quality, and efficiency. The Taiwan Government began regulating IAQ in 2011 and implemented the self-managed IAQ certification in 2021. Before the [...] Read more.
People spend about 80–90% of their time in indoor environments, and poor indoor air quality (IAQ) can seriously endanger people’s health, work quality, and efficiency. The Taiwan Government began regulating IAQ in 2011 and implemented the self-managed IAQ certification in 2021. Before the Taiwan Government officially implemented the certification, we conducted a questionnaire survey from 26 to 27 September 2020. Moreover, this survey selected Banqiao and Wuri High-Speed Rail Plaza as the survey sites and completed 337 valid questionnaires. According to the hierarchical regression results, this research found the following: firstly, IAQ certification complies with international standards and has continuous monitoring and information disclosure methods, both of which are key factors affecting people’s willingness to consume; secondly, the respondents, who are female, familiar with the regulations, and living in the northern Taiwan area, have more willingness to consume in the certificated places. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality)
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12 pages, 7727 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Airflow Generated by Human Activity Using a Mobile Slipstream Measuring Device
by Minkyeong Kim, Yongil Lee and Duckshin Park
Environments 2021, 8(10), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments8100097 - 23 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2413
Abstract
Human activities, including walking, generate an airflow, commonly known as the slipstream, which can disperse contaminants indoors and transmit infection to other individuals. It is important to understand the characteristics of airflow to prevent the dissemination of contaminants such as viruses. A cylinder [...] Read more.
Human activities, including walking, generate an airflow, commonly known as the slipstream, which can disperse contaminants indoors and transmit infection to other individuals. It is important to understand the characteristics of airflow to prevent the dissemination of contaminants such as viruses. A cylinder of diameter 500 mm, which is the average shoulder width of an adult male, was installed in a motorcar and moved at a velocity of 1.2 m/s, which is the walking speed of an adult male. The velocity profile of the slipstream generated during this movement was measured by locating the sensor support at 0.15–2.0 m behind the cylinder. The wind velocity was set to 1.2 m/s to conduct the numerical analysis. The measurement data revealed the velocity profile of the space behind the cylinder, and a comparison of the numerical analysis and the measurement results indicate very similar u (measured velocity)/U (moving velocity) results, with a maximum difference of 0.066, confirming that the measured values were correctly estimated from the results of the numerical analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality)
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