Indoor Air Pollutants and Public Health

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Air Quality and Human Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2023) | Viewed by 8594

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing 100191, China
Interests: building environment; indoor air quality; ambient environment; public health
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing 100191, China
Interests: ambient environment; VOCs; PM2.5; public health; children
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Duke University, Durham, NC 27710, USA
Interests: public health; AI health; environmental statistics; biostatistics; machine learning
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
School of Public Health (Shenzhen), Sun Yat-sen University, Shenzhen 518107, China
Interests: air pollution; environmental health; low-cost sensors; healthy buildings
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
School of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Hangzhou 310018, China
Interests: building environment; indoor air quality; pollution source control
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The environment is a major determinant of health worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 20% of all deaths can be attributed to environmental factors. In recent decades, a wide range of modern pollutants associated with city development and new lifestyles have emerged. People spend most of their time indoors, and the indoor sources of exposure have lifelong implications on health. Moreover, the ambient air pollutants that infiltrate indoor space are closely linked to the disease burden of individuals and communities. Thus, there is an urgent need to recognize and address health-related environmental pollutants, including the type of pollutants, the source of pollutants, and how they are related to health outcomes.

This Special Issue of Atmosphere welcomes contributions on aspects of indoor environmental pollutants. We are looking forward to research focused on detection methods for indoor pollutants, modeling to determine emission sources of indoor sources, the interaction between indoor and ambient air pollutants, the effects of indoor air pollutants on health, and other related areas.

Dr. Shaodan Huang
Dr. Jing Li
Dr. Chuan Hong
Dr. Jianbang Xiang
Dr. Lei Lei
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • indoor air quality
  • air pollutants
  • VOCs
  • PM2.5
  • ventilation
  • public health

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

11 pages, 657 KiB  
Article
Detection of Heavy Metals in Educational Institutions’ Indoor Dust and Their Risks to Health
by Fatma Kunt and Elif Sari Türkyılmaz
Atmosphere 2023, 14(5), 780; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14050780 - 26 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1248
Abstract
In addition to human health, there are typical pollutants that significantly determine the quality of life and deteriorate the quality of the air. Although these pollutants are familiar in outdoor environments, they also pose a health threat in indoor environments. These need to [...] Read more.
In addition to human health, there are typical pollutants that significantly determine the quality of life and deteriorate the quality of the air. Although these pollutants are familiar in outdoor environments, they also pose a health threat in indoor environments. These need to be monitored and controlled. Children, who spend most of their time in these environments, are especially exposed to these pollutants, and such contaminants pose a threat during their learning and growing periods. In this study, the detection of heavy metals in indoor dust in educational institutions and their health risks were evaluated. Heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, mercury, and cadmium, which are named differently due to their densities, were detected, and their effects on children were determined. The measured values of heavy metals cadmium and arsenic were above the standard values of OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration), one of the health and safety organizations. However, when educational institutions were examined, an increase in the amount of arsenic due to drinking water used, cadmium batteries containing batteries, the use of batteries, and the pigment feature in oil paint derivatives supplied with cadmium may increase the values. The other heavy metals such as Al, Zn, Hg, and Pb remained below the limit values. A health risk assessment was made by considering the data obtained from the samples taken from the educational institutions in Konya province, as well as factors such as environmental conditions, the number of students, the area per capita, temperature, and humidity. The causes of polluting sources and the precautions to be taken have been determined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollutants and Public Health)
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15 pages, 3267 KiB  
Article
Experimental Investigation on the Reaction Characteristics between Ozone and Vehicle Cabin/Furniture Materials
by Ying Gao, Meixia Zhang, Haimei Wang and Jianyin Xiong
Atmosphere 2023, 14(5), 769; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14050769 - 23 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1187
Abstract
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from building and vehicle cabin materials seriously affect indoor and in-cabin air quality, as well as human health. Previous studies revealed that some VOCs from building materials could react with ozone to affect the concentration levels of the [...] Read more.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from building and vehicle cabin materials seriously affect indoor and in-cabin air quality, as well as human health. Previous studies revealed that some VOCs from building materials could react with ozone to affect the concentration levels of the indoor environment, but seldom refers to vehicle cabin materials. In this study, we performed experimental investigation for two kinds of vehicle cabin materials (car carpet, sealing strip) and one furniture material (medium-density fiberboard) by conducting small-scale chamber tests under two different conditions, with ozone (about 110 μg/m3) and without ozone (about 10 μg/m3), to explore the effect of in-cabin chemistry on VOC emissions. We observed the VOC concentration changes in the two scenarios and found that ozone had a significant impact on the concentrations of aldehydes and ketones while having little impact on the concentrations of benzene series. We introduced a gain ratio to quantitatively reflect the concentration changes in the presence of ozone. The gain ratio for aldehydes and ketones is greater than one, while that for the benzene series is basically around one with a small fluctuation range. This study demonstrates that ozone can react with VOCs containing unsaturated carbon–carbon bonds or carbon–oxygen bonds emitted from varied materials to produce aldehydes and ketones, which will further reduce indoor and in-cabin air quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollutants and Public Health)
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11 pages, 425 KiB  
Article
Estrogenicity of Major Organic Chemicals in Cigarette Sidestream Smoke Particulate Matter
by Chun-Ju Lin and Lih-Ann Li
Atmosphere 2023, 14(4), 647; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14040647 - 29 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1126
Abstract
We previously found that cigarette sidestream smoke particulate matter (CSSP) could activate estrogen receptor ERα to generate estrogen-like tumor-promoting effects. This study sought to identify the compounds responsible for CSSP estrogenicity. We first identified the component compounds using a combination of GC-MS and [...] Read more.
We previously found that cigarette sidestream smoke particulate matter (CSSP) could activate estrogen receptor ERα to generate estrogen-like tumor-promoting effects. This study sought to identify the compounds responsible for CSSP estrogenicity. We first identified the component compounds using a combination of GC-MS and mass spectral matching. Based on computational estrogenicity prediction, nine potential estrogenic compounds were selected for second GC-MS identification and quantification. Their estrogenic activities at levels detected in the CSSP were verified using an estrogen-responsive reporter assay. Only catechol, a possible human carcinogen, showed significant estrogenic activity, but the activity was too low to justify CSSP estrogenicity. Even so, the mixture of these compounds reconstituted according to their contents in CSSP produced almost one third of the estrogenic activity of CSSP. These compounds acted synergistically to induce greater estrogenic effects at levels without apparent estrogenic activities. Nicotine accounted for approximately 16% of the total CSSP mass. The high abundance raises concerns about nicotine toxicity, including potentially working together with estrogenic chemicals to promote tumor growth. In summary, this study presents a tiered testing approach to identify estrogenic chemicals. Although no individual components are accountable for CSSP estrogenicity, the low-dose mixture effects of CSSP components warrant public health concerns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollutants and Public Health)
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10 pages, 1275 KiB  
Article
Measurement of Phthalates in Settled Dust in University Dormitories and Its Implications for Exposure Assessment
by Jiahui Wang, Fangzhou Yuan, Haitian Ye and Zhongming Bu
Atmosphere 2023, 14(4), 612; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14040612 - 23 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1075
Abstract
Six phthalates: dimethyl phthalate (DMP), diethyl phthalate (DEP), di(n-butyl) phthalate (DnBP), butyl benzyl phthalate (BBzP), di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), and di(n-octyl) phthalate (DOP) in settled dust on different indoor surfaces were measured in 30 university dormitories. A Monte Carlo simulation was used to estimate [...] Read more.
Six phthalates: dimethyl phthalate (DMP), diethyl phthalate (DEP), di(n-butyl) phthalate (DnBP), butyl benzyl phthalate (BBzP), di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), and di(n-octyl) phthalate (DOP) in settled dust on different indoor surfaces were measured in 30 university dormitories. A Monte Carlo simulation was used to estimate college students’ exposure via inhalation, non-dietary ingestion, and dermal absorption based on measured concentrations. The detection frequencies for targeted phthalates were more than 80% except for DEP (roughly 70%). DEHP was the most prevalent compound in the dust samples, followed by DnBP, DOP, and BBzP. Statistical analysis suggested that phthalate levels were higher in bedside dust than that collected from table surfaces, indicating a nonuniform distribution of dust-phase phthalates in the sleep environment. The simulation showed that the median DMP daily intake was 0.81 μg/kg/day, which was the greatest of the targeted phthalates. For the total exposures to all phthalates, the mean contribution of exposures during the daytime and sleeping time was 54% and 46%, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollutants and Public Health)
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20 pages, 7077 KiB  
Article
IoT-Based Bi-Cluster Forecasting Using Automated ML-Model Optimization for COVID-19
by Hasan Tariq, Farid Touati, Damiano Crescini and Adel Ben Mnaouer
Atmosphere 2023, 14(3), 534; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14030534 - 10 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1595
Abstract
The current COVID-19 pandemic has raised huge concerns about outdoor air quality due to the expected lung deterioration. These concerns include the challenges associated with an increase of harmful gases like carbon dioxide, the iterative/repetitive inhalation due to mask usage, and harsh environmental [...] Read more.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has raised huge concerns about outdoor air quality due to the expected lung deterioration. These concerns include the challenges associated with an increase of harmful gases like carbon dioxide, the iterative/repetitive inhalation due to mask usage, and harsh environmental temperatures. Even in the presence of air quality sensing devices, these challenges can hinder the prevention and treatment of respiratory diseases, epidemics, and pandemics in severe cases. In this research, a dual time series with a bi-cluster sensor data-stream-based novel optimized regression algorithm was proposed with optimization predictors and responses that use an automated iterative optimization of the model based on the similarity coefficient index. The algorithm was implemented over SeReNoV2 sensor nodes data, i.e., a multi-variate dual time-series sensor, of the environmental and US Environmental Protection Agency standard, which measures variables for the air quality index using air quality sensors with geospatial profiling. The SeReNoV2 systems were placed at four locations that were 3 km apart to monitor the air quality and their data was collected at Ubidots IoT platform over GSM. The results have shown that the proposed technique achieved a root mean square error (RMSE) of 1.0042 with a training time of 469.28 s for the control and an RMSE of 1.646 in a training time of 28.53 s when optimized. The estimated R-Squared error was 0.03, with the Mean-Square Error for temperature being 1.0084 °C, and 293.98 ppm for CO2. Furthermore, the Mean-Absolute Error (MAE) for temperature was 0.66226 °C and 10.252 ppm for the correlated-CO2 at a predicted speed of ~5100 observations/s. In the sample cluster for temperature, 45,000 observations/s for CO2 was achieved due to the iterative optimization of the training time (469.28 s). The correlated temperature and a time of 28.53 s for CO2 were very promising in forecasting COVID-19 countermeasures before time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollutants and Public Health)
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26 pages, 10866 KiB  
Article
Monitoring and Analysis of Indoor Air Quality in Graduate Dormitories in Northern China
by Zhibin Liu, Yuxin Li and Liang Zhao
Atmosphere 2022, 13(12), 1941; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13121941 - 22 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1506
Abstract
In recent years, the indoor air quality (IAQ) of educational buildings has attracted people’s attention. As a resting place, the dormitory occupies more than half of the students’ time in school. During sleep, the IAQ in dormitories is easily affected by breathing, which [...] Read more.
In recent years, the indoor air quality (IAQ) of educational buildings has attracted people’s attention. As a resting place, the dormitory occupies more than half of the students’ time in school. During sleep, the IAQ in dormitories is easily affected by breathing, which in turn affects the sleep quality and mental state of students. In order to study the relevant IAQ during sleep, this paper selected the dormitories of graduate students of different grades in a university in northern China, and monitored the temperature, humidity, CO2, PM2.5, HCHO and TVOC for two weeks during the changing seasons of autumn and winter. In addition, by issuing questionnaires, students made a subjective evaluation of the IAQ. According to the results of objective monitoring data and subjective evaluation, the IAQ changes in student dormitories of different grades, genders, and locations are statistically analyzed, and the correlation between environmental parameters is discussed. The research results show that temperature and humidity basically meet the national standards; indoor PM2.5 is positively correlated with outdoor PM2.5; and HCHO and TVOC are positively correlated with indoor temperature and humidity. Most dormitories lack natural ventilation, and the concentration of CO2 during sleep is too high, which affects the quality of sleep and mental state. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollutants and Public Health)
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