Poor air quality is a leading contributor to the global disease burden and total number of deaths worldwide. Humans spend most of their time in built environments where the majority of the inhalation exposure occurs. Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is challenged by outdoor air pollution entering indoors through ventilation and infiltration and by indoor emission sources. The aim of this study was to understand the current knowledge level and gaps regarding effective approaches to improve IAQ. Emission regulations currently focus on outdoor emissions, whereas quantitative understanding of emissions from indoor sources is generally lacking. Therefore, specific indoor sources need to be identified, characterized, and quantified according to their environmental and human health impact. The emission sources should be stored in terms of relevant metrics and statistics in an easily accessible format that is applicable for source specific exposure assessment by using mathematical mass balance modelings. This forms a foundation for comprehensive risk assessment and efficient interventions. For such a general exposure assessment model we need 1) systematic methods for indoor aerosol emission source assessment, 2) source emission documentation in terms of relevant a) aerosol metrics and b) biological metrics, 3) default model parameterization for predictive exposure modeling, 4) other needs related to aerosol characterization techniques and modeling methods. Such a general exposure assessment model can be applicable for private, public, and occupational indoor exposure assessment, making it a valuable tool for public health professionals, product safety designers, industrial hygienists, building scientists, and environmental consultants working in the field of IAQ and health.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 760840 and was partly supported by Academy of Finland project BATMAN ( 285672 ) and NordForsk under the Nordic Programme on Health and Welfare project # 75007 (NordicWelfAir), EU LIFE+ project Index-Air (LIFE15 ENV/PT/000674 ) and intramural funding by the participating institutes. The authors also wish to thank Tiina Santonen (Finnish Institute of Occupational Health) for her excellent comments.
- Air quality
- Mass balance