Indoor Air Quality – the quality of the air inside buildings – has a major influence on people as 90% of an individual’s time in developed countries is spent indoors. For an overall positive effect on public health, it is therefore also important that we pay attention to Indoor Air Quality when developing novel products.
Indoor Air Quality depends on concentrations of a broad spectrum of chemical and biological pollutants. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) describes air quality as acceptable when no known contaminants – at harmful concentrations – are present, and when 80% or more people exposed to it do not express dissatisfaction. Pollution may come from contaminated outdoor air, emissions from building materials, furniture and equipment, heating and ventilation systems, from indoor activities – cooking, cleaning etc. – and even from people themselves.
At the Cube, we have installed a room dedicated specifically to perform Indoor Air Quality tests under various conditions. It is a fully furnished office with the ability to host a group of people of the size required by the simulated setting. The ventilation in the room can be adjusted to simulate different environments, such as homes, offices and restaurants. It is equipped with several tools that allow tracking and measuring of the compounds in the air. Both the measurements and the set-up of the exposure room are in line with the highest international standards. Furthermore, our methodology is recognized by scientific experts in the field [and meets ISO standards].
To learn more about recommendations for pollutants, read further:
More on exposure limits for acetaldehyde:
More on exposure limits for nicotine:
WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Selected Pollutants
World Health Organization, Regional office for Europe, 2010
The INDEX project (Critical Appraisal of the Setting and Implementation of Indoor Exposure Limits in the EU)
Summary on recommendations and management options December, 2004 Organisation responsible of the project: European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Health and Consumer Protection, Physical and Chemical Exposure Unit, Ispra, Italy (JRC/IHCP/PCE). Project leader: Dr. Dimitrios Kotzias, JRC/IHCP/PCE
California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment
acute reference exposure limit: 470 μg/m^3 8-h reference exposure limit: 300 μg/m^3 chronic reference exposure limit: 140 μg/m^3
Indoor Exposure Limits in the EU - the Index Project (2006)
proposed exposure limit: 200 μg/m^3 Healthy Buildings 2006 vol. 1 p. 12 Publisher: International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate JRC N°: JRC34304 http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC34304
U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (1978)
U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (1978) permissible exposure limit: 500 mg/m^3
Read the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (2006)
indicative occupational exposure limit: 500 mg/m^3 http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32006L0015&from=EN