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Special Issue "Indoor Air Pollution and Human Health"

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A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2010)

Special Issue Editors

Associate Editor
Dr. Gary Adamkiewicz

Exposure, Epidemiology & Risk Program, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, P.O. Box 15677, Landmark 404K W, 401 Park Dr., Boston, MA 02215, USA
E-Mail
Fax: +1-617-384-8819
Interests: housing and health; indoor air pollution; chemical exposures; health disparities and environmental justice; exposure assessment; environmental epidemiology
Guest Editor
Professor John D. Spengler

Exposure, Epidemiology & Risk Program, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, P.O. Box 15677, Landmark 406 W, 401 Park Dr., Boston, MA 02215, USA
Contact Assistant: Joan Arnold
E-Mail: jarnold@hsph.harvard.edu
E-Mail
Fax: +1-617-384-8819
Interests: indoor air pollution; exposure assessment; environmental epidemiology; housing and health; sustainability

Special Issue Information

Editorial

Spengler, J.; Adamkiewicz, G. Indoor Air Pollution: An Old Problem with New Challenges. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6, 2880-2882.

Keywords

  • indoor environments
  • IAQ
  • climate
  • housing
  • chemicals
  • energy conservation
  • air exchange
  • ventilation
  • policy

Published Papers (17 papers)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial Indoor Air Pollution: An Old Problem with New Challenges
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(11), 2880-2882; doi:10.3390/ijerph6112880
Received: 21 October 2009 / Accepted: 17 November 2009 / Published: 19 November 2009
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (109 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hazards in our indoor environments have been recognized since biblical times. The advice in Leviticus 14:33–48 for treating mold infested houses has contemporary meaning in the recent World Health Organization (WHO) document on damp and moldy indoor spaces [1]. In the developed world,
[...] Read more.
Hazards in our indoor environments have been recognized since biblical times. The advice in Leviticus 14:33–48 for treating mold infested houses has contemporary meaning in the recent World Health Organization (WHO) document on damp and moldy indoor spaces [1]. In the developed world, faulty combustion, carbon monoxide from coal gas, lead paint, poor ventilation of tenement housing and hospitals have been recognized for decades as unhealthy. Indoor air quality, however, was not appreciated as an important component of public health until the proliferation of sealed buildings, energy conservation programs (urea formaldehyde foam insulation), new products, and the recognition of the health effects of radon, asbestos and latex. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution and Human Health)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle Estimation of Uncertainty in Tracer Gas Measurement of Air Change Rates
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(12), 4238-4249; doi:10.3390/ijerph7124238
Received: 16 November 2010 / Accepted: 14 December 2010 / Published: 16 December 2010
PDF Full-text (274 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Simple and economical measurement of air change rates can be achieved with a passive-type tracer gas doser and sampler. However, this is made more complex by the fact many buildings are not a single fully mixed zone. This means many measurements are required
[...] Read more.
Simple and economical measurement of air change rates can be achieved with a passive-type tracer gas doser and sampler. However, this is made more complex by the fact many buildings are not a single fully mixed zone. This means many measurements are required to obtain information on ventilation conditions. In this study, we evaluated the uncertainty of tracer gas measurement of air change rate in n completely mixed zones. A single measurement with one tracer gas could be used to simply estimate the air change rate when n = 2. Accurate air change rates could not be obtained for n ≥ 2 due to a lack of information. However, the proposed method can be used to estimate an air change rate with an accuracy of Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution and Human Health)
Open AccessArticle Sources of Propylene Glycol and Glycol Ethers in Air at Home
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(12), 4213-4237; doi:10.3390/ijerph7124213
Received: 16 October 2010 / Revised: 10 December 2010 / Accepted: 10 December 2010 / Published: 15 December 2010
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (764 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Propylene glycol and glycol ether (PGE) in indoor air have recently been associated with asthma and allergies as well as sensitization in children. In this follow-up report, sources of the PGEs in indoor air were investigated in 390 homes of pre-school age children
[...] Read more.
Propylene glycol and glycol ether (PGE) in indoor air have recently been associated with asthma and allergies as well as sensitization in children. In this follow-up report, sources of the PGEs in indoor air were investigated in 390 homes of pre-school age children in Sweden. Professional building inspectors examined each home for water damages, mold odour, building’s structural characteristics, indoor temperature, absolute humidity and air exchange rate. They also collected air and dust samples. The samples were analyzed for four groups of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and semi-VOCs (SVOCs), including summed concentrations of 16 PGEs, 8 terpene hydrocarbons, 2 Texanols, and the phthalates n-butyl benzyl phthalate (BBzP), and di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP). Home cleaning with water and mop ≥ once/month, repainting ≥ one room prior to or following the child’s birth, and “newest” surface material in the child’s bedroom explained largest portion of total variability in PGE concentrations. High excess indoor humidity (g/m3) additionally contributed to a sustained PGE levels in indoor air far beyond several months following the paint application. No behavioral or building structural factors, except for water-based cleaning, predicted an elevated terpene level in air. No significant predictor of Texanols emerged from our analysis. Overall disparate sources and low correlations among the PGEs, terpenes, Texanols, and the phthalates further confirm the lack of confounding in the analysis reporting the associations of the PGE and the diagnoses of asthma, rhinitis, and eczema, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution and Human Health)
Open AccessArticle A Novel Methodology to Evaluate Health Impacts Caused by VOC Exposures Using Real-Time VOC and Holter Monitors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(12), 4127-4138; doi:10.3390/ijerph7124127
Received: 18 October 2010 / Accepted: 18 November 2010 / Published: 30 November 2010
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (189 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
While various volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are known to show neurotoxic effects, the detailed mechanisms of the action of VOCs on the autonomic nervous system are not fully understood, partially because objective and quantitative measures to indicate neural abnormalities are still under development.
[...] Read more.
While various volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are known to show neurotoxic effects, the detailed mechanisms of the action of VOCs on the autonomic nervous system are not fully understood, partially because objective and quantitative measures to indicate neural abnormalities are still under development. Nevertheless, heart rate variability (HRV) has been recently proposed as an indicative measure of the autonomic effects. In this study, we used HRV as an indicative measure of the autonomic effrects to relate their values to the personal concentrations of VOCs measured by a real-time VOC monitor. The measurements were conducted for 24 hours on seven healthy subjects under usual daily life conditions. The results showed HF powers were significantly decreased for six subjects when the changes of total volatile organic compound (TVOC) concentrations were large, indicating a suppression of parasympathetic nervous activity induced by the exposure to VOCs. The present study indicated these real-time monitoring was useful to characterize the trends of VOC exposures and their effects on autonomic nervous system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution and Human Health)
Open AccessArticle Development of a Combined Real Time Monitoring and Integration Analysis System for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(12), 4100-4110; doi:10.3390/ijerph7124100
Received: 11 November 2010 / Accepted: 26 November 2010 / Published: 26 November 2010
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (245 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A combined integration analysis and real time monitoring (Peak Capture System) system was developed for volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Individual integration analysis and real time monitoring can be used to qualitatively and quantitatively analyze VOCs in the atmosphere and in indoor environments and
[...] Read more.
A combined integration analysis and real time monitoring (Peak Capture System) system was developed for volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Individual integration analysis and real time monitoring can be used to qualitatively and quantitatively analyze VOCs in the atmosphere and in indoor environments and determine the variation in total VOC (TVOC) concentration with time, respectively. In the Peak Capture System, real time monitoring was used to predict future elevations in the TVOC concentration (peak), and this was used an indicator of when to collect (capture) ambient air samples for integration analysis. This enabled qualitative and quantitative analysis of VOCs when the TVOC concentration was high. We developed an algorithm to predict variation in the TVOC concentration, and constructed an automatic system to initiate air sampling for integration analysis. With the system, auto-sampling and analysis of VOCs in a conventional house were conducted. In comparison with background concentrations, the results of peak analysis enabled identification of compounds whose concentration rose. This also enabled an evaluation of possible VOC emission sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution and Human Health)
Open AccessArticle Measurement of Secondary Products During Oxidation Reactions of Terpenes and Ozone Based on the PTR-MS Analysis: Effects of Coexistent Carbonyl Compounds
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(11), 3853-3870; doi:10.3390/ijerph7113853
Received: 21 September 2010 / Revised: 9 October 2010 / Accepted: 26 October 2010 / Published: 1 November 2010
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (286 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Continuous measurements using proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) can be used to describe the production processes of secondary products during ozone induced oxidation of terpenes. Terpenes are emitted from woody building materials, and ozone is generated from ozone air purifiers and copy
[...] Read more.
Continuous measurements using proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) can be used to describe the production processes of secondary products during ozone induced oxidation of terpenes. Terpenes are emitted from woody building materials, and ozone is generated from ozone air purifiers and copy machines in indoor environments. Carbonyl compounds (CCs) are emitted by human activities such as smoking and drinking alcohol. Moreover, CCs are generated during ozone oxidation of terpenes. Therefore, coexistent CCs should affect the ozone oxidation. This study has focused on the measurement of secondary products during the ozone oxidation of terpenes based on the use of PTR-MS analysis and effects of coexistent CCs on oxidized products. Experiments were performed in a fluoroplastic bag containing α-pinene or limonene as terpenes, ozone and acetaldehyde or formaldehyde as coexistent CCs adjusted to predetermined concentrations. Continuous measurements by PTR-MS were conducted after mixing of terpenes, ozone and CCs, and time changes of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) concentrations were monitored. Results showed that, high-molecular weight intermediates disappeared gradually with elapsed time, though the production of high-molecular weight intermediates was observed at the beginning. This phenomenon suggested that the ozone oxidation of terpenes generated ultrafine particles. Coexistent CCs affected the ozone oxidation of α-pinene more than limonene. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution and Human Health)
Open AccessArticle A Three Year Study on 14 VOCs at One Site in Rome: Levels, Seasonal Variations, Indoor/Outdoor Ratio and Temporal Trends
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(10), 3792-3803; doi:10.3390/ijerph7103792
Received: 1 September 2010 / Revised: 14 September 2010 / Accepted: 22 September 2010 / Published: 22 October 2010
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (231 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Fourteen volatile organic compounds (VOCs)—twelve hydrocarbons and two organochlorine compounds—were monitored both outdoors and indoors for three years at one site in Rome. Results showed that 118 out of 168 indoor seasonal mean values were higher than the corresponding outdoor concentrations. The most
[...] Read more.
Fourteen volatile organic compounds (VOCs)—twelve hydrocarbons and two organochlorine compounds—were monitored both outdoors and indoors for three years at one site in Rome. Results showed that 118 out of 168 indoor seasonal mean values were higher than the corresponding outdoor concentrations. The most relevant source of outdoor hydrocarbons was automotive exhaust emissions. Due to the enforcement of various measures to protect health and the environment, outdoor levels of monoaromatic hydrocarbons decreased about ten fold over 15 years, and aliphatic hydrocarbons also decreased. With the decrease in these outdoor concentrations, indoor air sources are likely to be more relevant for indoor air exposures. Winter outdoor values for monoaromatic hydrocarbons were generally markedly higher than the summer ones. The gradual replacement of the current fleet of circulating cars with new cars complying with EURO 5 standards, further reducing hydrocarbon emissions, may possibly lead to an increase in the observed indoor/outdoor ratios. It is indeed more difficult to remove indoor sources, some of which are still unknown. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution and Human Health)
Open AccessArticle Acetaldehyde Removal from Indoor Air through Chemical Absorption Using L-Cysteine
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(9), 3489-3498; doi:10.3390/ijerph7093489
Received: 1 August 2010 / Revised: 31 August 2010 / Accepted: 14 September 2010 / Published: 17 September 2010
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (280 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The irreversible removal of acetaldehyde from indoor air via a chemical reaction with amino acids was investigated. To compare effectiveness, five types of amino acid (glycine, L-lysine, L-methionine, L-cysteine, and L-cystine) were used as the reactants. First, acetaldehyde-laden air was introduced into aqueous
[...] Read more.
The irreversible removal of acetaldehyde from indoor air via a chemical reaction with amino acids was investigated. To compare effectiveness, five types of amino acid (glycine, L-lysine, L-methionine, L-cysteine, and L-cystine) were used as the reactants. First, acetaldehyde-laden air was introduced into aqueous solutions of each amino acid and the removal abilities were compared. Among the five amino acids, L-cysteine solution showed much higher removal efficiency, while the other amino acids solutions didn’t show any significant differences from the removal efficiency of water used as a control. Next, as a test of the removal abilities of acetaldehyde by semi-solid L-cysteine, a gel containing L-cysteine solution was put in a fluororesin bag filled with acetaldehyde gas, and the change of acetaldehyde concentration was measured. The L-cysteine-containing gel removed 80% of the acetaldehyde in the air within 24 hours. The removal ability likely depended on the unique reaction whereby acetaldehyde and L-cysteine rapidly produce 2-methylthiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid. These results suggested that the reaction between acetaldehyde and L-cysteine has possibilities for irreversibly removing toxic acetaldehyde from indoor air. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution and Human Health)
Open AccessArticle Modified Perfluorocarbon Tracer Method for Measuring Effective Multizone Air Exchange Rates
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(9), 3348-3358; doi:10.3390/ijerph7093348
Received: 15 July 2010 / Revised: 9 August 2010 / Accepted: 23 August 2010 / Published: 27 August 2010
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (232 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A modified procedure was developed for the measurement of the effective air exchange rate, which represents the relationship between the pollutants emitted from indoor sources and the residents’ level of exposure, by placing the dosers of tracer gas at locations that resemble indoor
[...] Read more.
A modified procedure was developed for the measurement of the effective air exchange rate, which represents the relationship between the pollutants emitted from indoor sources and the residents’ level of exposure, by placing the dosers of tracer gas at locations that resemble indoor emission sources. To measure the 24-h-average effective air exchange rates in future surveys based on this procedure, a low-cost, easy-to-use perfluorocarbon tracer (PFT) doser with a stable dosing rate was developed by using double glass vials, a needle, a polyethylene-sintered filter, and a diffusion tube. Carbon molecular sieve cartridges and carbon disulfide (CS2) were used for passive sampling and extraction of the tracer gas, respectively. Recovery efficiencies, sampling rates, and lower detection limits for 24-h sampling of hexafluorobenzene, octafluorotoluene, and perfluoroallylbenzene were 40% ± 3%, 72% ± 5%, and 84% ± 6%; 10.5 ± 1.1, 14.4 ± 1.4, and 12.2 ± 0.49 mL min−1; and 0.20, 0.17, and 0.26 μg m–3, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution and Human Health)
Open AccessArticle Do Questions Reflecting Indoor Air Pollutant Exposure from a Questionnaire Predict Direct Measure of Exposure in Owner-Occupied Houses?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(8), 3270-3297; doi:10.3390/ijerph7083270
Received: 2 July 2010 / Revised: 14 August 2010 / Accepted: 18 August 2010 / Published: 23 August 2010
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (603 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Home characteristic questions are used in epidemiological studies and clinical settings to assess potentially harmful exposures in the home. The objective of this study was to determine whether questionnaire-reported home characteristics can predict directly measured pollutants. Sixty home inspections were conducted on a
[...] Read more.
Home characteristic questions are used in epidemiological studies and clinical settings to assess potentially harmful exposures in the home. The objective of this study was to determine whether questionnaire-reported home characteristics can predict directly measured pollutants. Sixty home inspections were conducted on a subsample of the 2006 population-based Toronto Child Health Evaluation Questionnaire. Indoor/outdoor air and settled dust samples were analyzed. Mean Fel d 1 was higher (p < 0.0001) in homes with a cat (450.58 µg/g) versus without (22.28 µg/g). Mean indoor NO2 was higher (p = 0.003) in homes with gas stoves (14.98 ppb) versus without (8.31 ppb). Self-reported musty odours predicted higher glucan levels (10554.37 µg/g versus 6308.58 µg/g, p = 0.0077). Der f 1 was predicted by the home’s age, but not by reports of carpets, and was higher in homes with mean relative humidity > 50% (61.30 µg/g, versus 6.24 µg/g, p = 0.002). Self-reported presence of a cat, a gas stove, musty odours, mice, and the home’s age and indoor relative humidity over 50% predicted measured indoor levels of cat allergens, NO2, fungal glucan, mouse allergens and dust mite allergens, respectively. These results are helpful for understanding the significance of indoor exposures ascertained by self-reporting in large epidemiological studies and also in the clinical setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution and Human Health)
Open AccessArticle Exploring Variation and Predictors of Residential Fine Particulate Matter Infiltration
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(8), 3211-3224; doi:10.3390/ijerph7083211
Received: 30 June 2010 / Revised: 12 August 2010 / Accepted: 13 August 2010 / Published: 16 August 2010
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (340 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although individuals spend the majority of their time indoors, most epidemiological studies estimate personal air pollution exposures based on outdoor levels. This almost certainly results in exposure misclassification as pollutant infiltration varies between homes. However, it is often not possible to collect detailed
[...] Read more.
Although individuals spend the majority of their time indoors, most epidemiological studies estimate personal air pollution exposures based on outdoor levels. This almost certainly results in exposure misclassification as pollutant infiltration varies between homes. However, it is often not possible to collect detailed measures of infiltration for individual homes in large-scale epidemiological studies and thus there is currently a need to develop models that can be used to predict these values. To address this need, we examined infiltration of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and identified determinants of infiltration for 46 residential homes in Toronto, Canada. Infiltration was estimated using the indoor/outdoor sulphur ratio and information on hypothesized predictors of infiltration were collected using questionnaires and publicly available databases. Multiple linear regression was used to develop the models. Mean infiltration was 0.52 ± 0.21 with no significant difference across heating and non-heating seasons. Predictors of infiltration were air exchange, presence of central air conditioning, and forced air heating. These variables accounted for 38% of the variability in infiltration. Without air exchange, the model accounted for 26% of the variability. Effective modelling of infiltration in individual homes remains difficult, although key variables such as use of central air conditioning show potential as an easily attainable indicator of infiltration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution and Human Health)
Open AccessArticle Evaporative Gasoline Emissions and Asthma Symptoms
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(8), 3051-3062; doi:10.3390/ijerph7083051
Received: 18 June 2010 / Revised: 25 July 2010 / Accepted: 29 July 2010 / Published: 4 August 2010
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (122 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Attached garages are known to be associated with indoor air volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This study looked at indoor exposure to VOCs presumably from evaporative emissions of gasoline. Alaskan gasoline contains 5% benzene making benzene a marker for gasoline exposure. A survey of
[...] Read more.
Attached garages are known to be associated with indoor air volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This study looked at indoor exposure to VOCs presumably from evaporative emissions of gasoline. Alaskan gasoline contains 5% benzene making benzene a marker for gasoline exposure. A survey of randomly chosen houses with attached garages was done in Anchorage Alaska to determine the exposure and assess respiratory health. Householders were asked to complete a health survey for each person and a household survey. They monitored indoor air in their primary living space for benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes for one week using passive organic vapor monitoring badges. Benzene levels in homes ranged from undetectable to 58 parts per billion. The median benzene level in 509 homes tested was 2.96 ppb. Elevated benzene levels in the home were strongly associated with small engines and gasoline stored in the garage. High concentrations of benzene in gasoline increase indoor air levels of benzene in residences with attached garages exposing people to benzene at levels above ATSDR’s minimal risk level. Residents reported more severe symptoms of asthma in the homes with high gasoline exposure (16%) where benzene levels exceeded the 9 ppb. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution and Human Health)
Open AccessArticle Predictors of Indoor Air Concentrations in Smoking and Non-Smoking Residences
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(8), 3080-3099; doi:10.3390/ijerph7083080
Received: 6 July 2010 / Revised: 27 July 2010 / Accepted: 29 July 2010 / Published: 4 August 2010
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (259 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Indoor concentrations of air pollutants (benzene, toluene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, elemental carbon and ozone) were measured in residences in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Data were collected in 106 homes in winter and 111 homes in summer of 2007, with 71
[...] Read more.
Indoor concentrations of air pollutants (benzene, toluene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, elemental carbon and ozone) were measured in residences in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Data were collected in 106 homes in winter and 111 homes in summer of 2007, with 71 homes participating in both seasons. In addition, data for relative humidity, temperature, air exchange rates, housing characteristics and occupants’ activities during sampling were collected. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to construct season-specific models for the air pollutants. Where smoking was a major contributor to indoor concentrations, separate models were constructed for all homes and for those homes with no cigarette smoke exposure. The housing characteristics and occupants’ activities investigated in this study explained between 11% and 53% of the variability in indoor air pollutant concentrations, with ventilation, age of home and attached garage being important predictors for many pollutants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution and Human Health)
Open AccessArticle Assessment of Benzo(a)pyrene-equivalent Carcinogenicity and Mutagenicity of Residential Indoor versus Outdoor Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Exposing Young Children in New York City
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(5), 1889-1900; doi:10.3390/ijerph7051889
Received: 9 March 2010 / Revised: 14 April 2010 / Accepted: 23 April 2010 / Published: 27 April 2010
Cited by 54 | PDF Full-text (209 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The application of benzo(a)pyrene (BaP)-toxic equivalent factor to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) concentrations can provide a more accurate risk assessment from environmental exposure to PAH. We hypothesized that BaP-equivalent toxicity determined following residential air monitoring among young urban children may vary by season.
[...] Read more.
The application of benzo(a)pyrene (BaP)-toxic equivalent factor to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) concentrations can provide a more accurate risk assessment from environmental exposure to PAH. We hypothesized that BaP-equivalent toxicity determined following residential air monitoring among young urban children may vary by season. Residential indoor and outdoor air levels of PAH measured over two-weeks in a cohort of 5–6 year old children (n = 260) in New York City were normalized to the cancer and mutagen potency equivalent factor of BaP (BaP = 1). Data are presented as carcinogenic equivalents (BaP-TEQ) and mutagenic equivalents (BaP-MEQ) for the sum of 8 PAH (∑8PAH; MW ³ 228) and individual PAH and compared across heating versus nonheating seasons. Results show that heating compared to nonheating season was associated significantly with higher (BaP-TEQ)∑8PAH and (BaP-MEQ)∑8PAH both indoors and outdoors (p < 0.001). Outdoor (BaP-TEQ)∑8PAH and (BaP-MEQ)∑8PAH were significantly higher than the corresponding indoor measures during the heating season (p < 0.01). These findings suggest that at levels encountered in New York City air, especially during the heating season, residential exposure to PAH may pose an increased risk of cancer and mutation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution and Human Health)
Open AccessArticle Measurement of Ultrafine Particles and Other Air Pollutants Emitted by Cooking Activities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1744-1759; doi:10.3390/ijerph7041744
Received: 28 February 2010 / Revised: 3 April 2010 / Accepted: 14 April 2010 / Published: 16 April 2010
Cited by 42 | PDF Full-text (885 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cooking emissions show a strong dependence on cooking styles and parameters. Measurements of the average ultrafine particle (UFP) concentration, PM2.5 and black carbon concentrations emitted by cooking activities ranged from 1.34 × 104 to 6.04 × 105 particles/cm3,
[...] Read more.
Cooking emissions show a strong dependence on cooking styles and parameters. Measurements of the average ultrafine particle (UFP) concentration, PM2.5 and black carbon concentrations emitted by cooking activities ranged from 1.34 × 104 to 6.04 × 105 particles/cm3, 10.0 to 230.9 μg/m3 and 0.1 to 0.8 μg/m3, respectively. Lower UFP concentrations were observed during boiling, while higher levels were emitted during frying. The highest UFP concentrations were observed when using a gas stove at high temperature with the kitchen exhaust fan turned off. The observed UFP profiles were similar in the kitchen and in another room, with a lag of approximately 10 min. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution and Human Health)

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessReview A Critical Review of Naphthalene Sources and Exposures Relevant to Indoor and Outdoor Air
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(7), 2903-2939; doi:10.3390/ijerph7072903
Received: 10 June 2010 / Revised: 7 July 2010 / Accepted: 12 July 2010 / Published: 20 July 2010
Cited by 44 | PDF Full-text (311 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Both the recent classification of naphthalene as a possible human carcinogen and its ubiquitous presence motivate this critical review of naphthalene’s sources and exposures. We evaluate the environmental literature on naphthalene published since 1990, drawing on nearly 150 studies that report emissions and
[...] Read more.
Both the recent classification of naphthalene as a possible human carcinogen and its ubiquitous presence motivate this critical review of naphthalene’s sources and exposures. We evaluate the environmental literature on naphthalene published since 1990, drawing on nearly 150 studies that report emissions and concentrations in indoor, outdoor and personal air. While naphthalene is both a volatile organic compound and a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, concentrations and exposures are poorly characterized relative to many other pollutants. Most airborne emissions result from combustion, and key sources include industry, open burning, tailpipe emissions, and cigarettes. The second largest source is off-gassing, specifically from naphthalene’s use as a deodorizer, repellent and fumigant. In the U.S., naphthalene’s use as a moth repellant has been reduced in favor of para-dichlorobenzene, but extensive use continues in mothballs, which appears responsible for some of the highest indoor exposures, along with off-label uses. Among the studies judged to be representative, average concentrations ranged from 0.18 to 1.7 μg m-3 in non-smoker’s homes, and from 0.02 to 0.31 μg m-3 outdoors in urban areas. Personal exposures have been reported in only three European studies. Indoor sources are the major contributor to (non-occupational) exposure. While its central tendencies fall well below guideline levels relevant to acute health impacts, several studies have reported maximum concentrations exceeding 100 μg m-3, far above guideline levels. Using current but draft estimates of cancer risks, naphthalene is a major environmental risk driver, with typical individual risk levels in the 10-4 range, which is high and notable given that millions of individuals are exposed. Several factors influence indoor and outdoor concentrations, but the literature is inconsistent on their effects. Further investigation is needed to better characterize naphthalene’s sources and exposures, especially for indoor and personal measurements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution and Human Health)
Open AccessReview Situational Analysis of Household Energy and Biomass Use and Associated Health Burden of Indoor Air Pollution and Mitigation Efforts in Pakistan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(7), 2940-2952; doi:10.3390/ijerph7072940
Received: 10 June 2010 / Revised: 30 June 2010 / Accepted: 12 July 2010 / Published: 20 July 2010
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (139 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Biomass fuel burning leads to high levels of suspended particulate matter and hazardous chemicals in the indoor environment in countries where it is in common use, contributing significantly to indoor air pollution (IAP). A situational analysis of household energy and biomass use and
[...] Read more.
Biomass fuel burning leads to high levels of suspended particulate matter and hazardous chemicals in the indoor environment in countries where it is in common use, contributing significantly to indoor air pollution (IAP). A situational analysis of household energy and biomass use and associated health effects of IAP was conducted by reviewing published and un-published literature about the situation in Pakistan. In addition to attempt to quantify the burden of ill health due to IAP, this paper also appraises the mitigation measures undertaken to avert the problem in Pakistan. Unfortunately, IAP is still not a recognized environmental hazard in Pakistan and there are no policies and standards to control it at the household level. Only a few original studies related to health effects of IAP have been conducted, mainly on women’s health and birth outcome, and only a few governmental, non-governmental and academic institutions are working to improve the IAP situation by introducing improved stoves and renewable energy technology at a small scale. Control of IAP health hazards in Pakistan requires an initial meeting of the stakeholders to define a policy and an action agenda. Simultaneously, studies gathering evidence of impact of intervention through available technologies such as improved stoves would have favorable impact on the health, especially of women and children in Pakistan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution and Human Health)

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