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Indoor air quality of newly built low-energy preschools: Are chemical emissions reduced in houses with eco-labelled building materials?
Örebro University, School of Science and Technology. (Man-Technology-Environment (MTM) Research Centre)
Örebro University, School of Science and Technology. (Man-Technology-Environment (MTM) Research Centre)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5729-1908
Örebro University, School of Science and Technology. Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4128-8226
2018 (English)In: Indoor and Built Environment, ISSN 1420-326XArticle in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The use of an airtight frame in low-energy buildings could increase the risk of health-related problems, such as allergies and sick building syndromes (SBS), associated with chemical emissions from building materials, especially if the ventilation system is not functioning properly. In this study, the indoor air quality (IAQ) was investigated in newly built low-energy and conventional preschools by monitoring the indoor air temperature, relative humidity, particle-size distribution and levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), formaldehyde and total volatile organic compounds (TVOC). The thermal comfort was satisfactory in all preschools, with average indoor air temperature and a relative humidity at 21.4C and 36%, respectively. The highest levels of TVOC (range: 130–1650 mg/m3 toluene equivalents) and formaldehyde (range: 1.9–28.8 mg/m3) occurred during the first sampling period associated with strong emissions from building materials. However, those preschools constructed with environmental friendly building materials (such as Swan Eco-label) had lower initial TVOC levels compared to those preschools constructed with conventional building materials. The IAQ and indoor chemical emissions were also strongly dependent on the functioning of the ventilation system. Preliminary risk assessment indicated that exposure to acrolein and crotonaldehyde might lead to respiratory-tract irritation among occupants.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2018.
Keywords [en]
Indoor air quality, Low-energy preschool, Ventilation, Indoor air pollutants, Temporal trends, Maximum cumulative ratio, Volatile organic compounds
National Category
Analytical Chemistry Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-70261DOI: 10.1177/1420326X18792600OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-70261DiVA, id: diva2:1264724
Available from: 2018-11-21 Created: 2018-11-21 Last updated: 2018-11-21Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Indoor air quality and chemical emissions of organic compounds in newly built low-energy preschools
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Indoor air quality and chemical emissions of organic compounds in newly built low-energy preschools
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In 2010, the European Union (EU) introduced the “Energy performance of Buildings” directive, which stipulates that all new buildings must reduce their energy consumption by constructing low-energy buildings. This could be achieved by constructing airtight and energy efficient envelopes with functional building materials such as age-resistant plastic films, insulation and different sealing products. However, functional building materials are known to contain a large amount of man-made chemicals that could be released to the indoor environment and might cause health issues among the occupants. In view of this, the indoor air quality (IAQ) and contamination of selected organic compounds were investigated in newly built low-energy preschools in order to evaluate whether the new building concept, low-energy housing, can have a negative effect to the indoor environment and the occupants. The IAQ was satisfactory in all preschools and the indoor air chemical mixture was heavily influenced by the mechanical heat recovery ventilation system. Furthermore, the levels of formaldehyde, total volatile organic compounds (TVOC), brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs) were lower in the environmental certified low-energy preschools compared to those preschools without environmental certification. Thus, a conscious choice of building materials, interior decoration and chemical products can reduce the occurrence and levels of hazardous organic compounds. Emission tests showed that collected building materials only contributed to a small fraction of the measured indoor chemical levels. Furthermore, preliminary exposure risk estimation of the indoor chemical mixture showed potential health risk from some individual compounds to the occupants, but further investigations are needed for a more complete risk assessment. In conclusion, the comprehensive and unique study design presented in this thesis will contribute to the ongoing work towards a non-toxic environment, further development of the low-energy building concept and the legislative movement on limit values for chemical emissions from building materials.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro University, 2018. p. 67
Series
Örebro Studies in Chemistry, ISSN 1651-4270 ; 22
Keywords
Indoor air quality, volatile organic compounds, brominated flame retardants, organophosphate flame retardants, low-energy preschools, environmental certification, indoor dust, surface wipes
National Category
Other Chemistry Topics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-69689 (URN)978-91-7529-268-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-12-14, Örebro universitet, Hörsalen, Musikhögskolan, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-10-19 Created: 2018-10-19 Last updated: 2018-11-21Bibliographically approved

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Persson, JosefinWang, ThanhHagberg, Jessika

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