Ocular, nasal, dermal and respiratory symptoms in relation to heating, ventilation, energy conservation and reconstruction of older multi-family houses

This study was carried out in nearly two hundred multi-family buildings, built before 1961, in Stockholm. Three thousand inhabitants answered first a questionnaire on symptoms and personal factors. In parallel energy saving measures and building characteristics were gathered. It appeared that major reconstruction of the interior were associated with an increase of some symptoms.

How to describe indoor environment in epidemiological study dealing with respiratory diseases ?

This paper is a sum up of 32 epidemiological studies (mainly concerning children) having a link between indoor pollutions and respiratory diseases. Data issued from questionnaires and data from environmental measurements from these studies are compared and analysed.
Associations between different characteristics of the dwellings and respiratory symptoms are found. On the other hand, for factors like sociodemographic environment, heating and cooking installations, the impact on respiratory health is inconstant.

"Europart" Airborne particles in the indoor environment. European interdisciplinary review of scientific evidence on associations between exposure to particles in buildings and health effects.

The European interdisciplinary group of researchers have reviewed 70 papers and selected 8 studies for their final review. From most studies, no definite conclusions could have been drawn concerning the association between particles matter concentration and health outcomes.
So giving limit values or guidelines for particulate mass or number concentrations in non-industrial indoor environment is not an adequate scientific evidence.

An overview of particulate matter in indoor environments : sources and effects

This paper gives an overview of sources of indoor particulate matter (PM) and its effects on occupants. Studies indicate that outdoor PM contributes to indoor PM, yet a large fractionof indoor PM is generated indoors. The ratio of indoor to outdoor PM concentrations (I/O ratio) varies substantially due to different indoor conditions and PM spatial distributions.Real-time investigation using multiple point sampling technique is needed for better understanding of PM spatial distribution.

Demand controlled ventilation in a low-energy house

In low energy dwellings the ventilation heat losses are significant. Reduction of these heat losses can be achieved by introducing demand controlled ventilation i.e. ventilation rates are set below normal level when rooms are no longer occupied. This paper outlines preliminary results on energy conservation and health effects in relation to demand controlled ventilation in a low-energy house.

Indoor environments, health and well-being in cold climate

Basic requirements for healthy environments were well established before 1850 and implemented during the next 100 years as a vital condition for the remarkable improvements of general health and living standard in our welfare states.It is sad to observe that so much knowledge and wisdom seems to have evaporated during the last 50 years !

Impact of resident behavior versus ventilation system design in indoor air quality and human health

This paper describes a study of reduced performance of mechanical exhaust systems in 42 Dutch houses after several years of operation. It also describes the effect of reduced ventilation on air quality and the perception and use of the ventilation system by residents. The guanine contents of dust samples taken from the sleeping room were determined to assess the risk of allergy.

Efficient ventilation of VOC spread in a small-scale painting process

On account of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), large proportions of workers suffer from eye and respiratory discomfort or headaches. In a small-scale painting process, efficient ventilation system must be provided for human health. In this study, ventilation characteristics of toluene have been analysed in a room of a small-scale painting process with various exit locations with different suction velocities at the exits.

Toxic mold - a misnomer

An analysis of recently published research results is provided, showing that if molds and the different compounds they produce can lead to some health effects (allergies, infections, potential toxicologic effects) when inhalated, these effects occur only for exposures at very high doses. The potential toxicity from indoor air exposures is therefore very low, which allows to consider the term 'toxic mold' as a misnomer.

Standard 62 and smoking

This article presents how ventilation and air quality in smoking spaces are being treated by ANSI/ASHRAE standard 62, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality. Historical information is given about environmental tobacco smoke and ventilation requirements in the standard since its first issue in 1973. The status of the 31 addenda to the 1999 version of the standard, some of them being included in the 2001 version, others still being in discussion or in the process to be adopted, is explained. Among them are four smoking-related addenda : 62e, 62g, 62o and 62ag.