Balancing Reductions in Exposure to VOCs and their Secondary Products Indoors vs. the Infiltration of Outdoor Pollutants

Ventilation and source control (e.g. using low volatile organic compound (VOC) emitting materials) are two recommended approaches to control indoor air pollution and VOC’s in particular. Decisions on how to minimize exposure can be supported by indoor air chemistry modeling, since the relationships between VOC’s, their precursors, and building ventilation is so complex. For example, modeling could be used to examine the impact of altering building ventilation.

Productivity is affected by the air quality in offices.

The results of three independent studies involving 90 subjects, and using similar procedures and blind exposures have shown that increasing air quality (by decreasing the pollution load or by increasing the ventilation rate, with otherwise constant indoor climate conditions) can improve the performance of simulated office work (text typing, addition and proof-reading). An analysis of the combined data from these studies is presented to establish the relationship between air quality and performance in offices.

Negative impact of air pollution on productivity: previous Danish findings repeated in new Swedish test room.

The objective of this study was to test a new office space where the environmental conditions could be well controlled- a "field laboratory", located at Mid Sweden University in 6stersund. To test the laboratory, the same experiment that had been carried out earlier at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) was repeated. A further objective was to test whether the earlier results from DTU showing a negative impact of increased indoor air pollution on perceived air quality, Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) symptoms and performance could be repeated.

Perceived air quality, sick building syndrome (SBS) symptoms and productivity in an office with two different pollution loads.

Perceived air quality, Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) symptoms and productivity were studied in an existing office in which the air pollution level could be modified by introducing or removing a pollution source. This reversible intervention allowed the space to be classified as either non-low-polluting or low-polluting, as specified in the new European design criteria ·for the indoor environment CEN CR 1752 (1998). The pollution source was a 20-year-old used carpet which was introduced on a rack behind a screen so that it was invisible to the occupants.