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Possible health effects of energy conservation: impairment of indoor air quality due to reduction of ventilation rate.

Burkart W, Chakraborty S, 1984
air quality | air tightness | energy conservation | health | radon
Bibliographic info: Environment International, 1984, Vol 10, p455-461. 3 figs, 4 tabs, 33 refs.
Languages: English

Efforts to reduce the energy needs to heat or cool dwellings have the potential to create new health hazards. Increases in indoor levels of radon and its progeny from the reduction in air exchange rates add a substantial radioactive burden to the general population. Other indoor pollutants reaching critical concentrations in homes with low air exchange rates are CO and NO2 from unvented combustion in gas stoves and heaters, tobacco smoke, and asbestos fibres. In addition, insulation materials and certain types of furniture may contribute the toxicant formaldehyde diffusing from foam injected walls or chipboard. Risk estimations using linear dose-response relationships show risk factors per kWh saved which are orders of magnitude greater than for a kWh produced by large power plants using coal, oil, gas, or uranium.


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