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What is good IAQ? PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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RESPIRATORY HEALTH & ENVIRONMENT SUMMIT For Life and Breath: Allergies, Asthma, and the Environment Panel "Clearing Airways: Creating Asthma and Allergy Friendly Homes, Schools and Workplaces" John Molot MD CCFP FCFP. What is good IAQ?.

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What is good IAQ?

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What is good iaq

RESPIRATORY HEALTH & ENVIRONMENT SUMMIT For Life and Breath: Allergies, Asthma, and the EnvironmentPanel "Clearing Airways: Creating Asthma and Allergy Friendly Homes, Schools and Workplaces" John Molot MD CCFP FCFP

What is good iaq

What is good IAQ?

  • No contaminants at concentrations likely to be harmful

  • No conditions that are likely to be associated with occupant health or comfort complaints

    • stuffy air, poor temperature control, dampness

  • Virtually no occupants express dissatisfaction

    Indoor Air Quality Guide. ASHRAE 2009

Canadians spend 90 of time indoors

Canadians spend 90% of time indoors

Do we really have good IAQ?

What is good iaq

Would you live here?

What is good iaq

Would you live here?

What is good iaq

Highway 401

What is good iaq

5000 people aged 55-69 living near a major road followed for 8 years had double the risk for deathfrom cardiopulmonary causes

Lancet 2002 Oct 19;360(9341):1203-9

Proximity to major road 50 500 m

Proximity to Major Road(50-500 m)

  • Allergies

  • Asthma

  • Respiratory infections

  • Others

    Boothe VL. J Environ health. 2008 Apr;70(8):33-41

    Major road = 10,000 vehicles/24 hr


  • Highway 401 (Weston Rd and Hwy 400) = 442,900

  • Yonge St. = 51,000

  • Sheppard (Bayview and Yonge) = 30,000

Major outdoor pollutants

Major Outdoor Pollutants

  • *** Particulate matter (<PM2.5)

  • *** Ozone (O3)

  • Nitrous oxides (NOx)

  • Sulfur oxides (SOx)

  • Carbon monoxide

  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

    Influence could be additiveor synergistic

Iaq 4 7x worse than outdoor air

IAQ 4 – 7x worse than outdoor air

  • Indoor VOCs and SVOCs are higher

    • 30 -100 in typical building

    • over 900 VOCs and SVOCs have been identified indoors

    • there are few health-based guidelines for VOC concentrations in non-industrial indoor environments

    • no guidelines for SVOCs

    • no guidelines for combinations

  • SVOCs are much higher indoors (e.g. PBDE, PFOS)

  • PM is lower, but different components.

    • outdoor air and indoor sources both contribute

    • SVOCs and other contaminants adsorb, especially to UFP

  • Ozone is reduced 30-70% but increases when outside levels are higher



Present ventilation standards and guidelines:

modest requirement that the indoor air shall be acceptable to 80% of occupants.

not based on health effects

Current building codes, standards and guidelines:

based primarily on practical experience within the building sector

based on non-health related criteria such as perceived acceptability of air

does not consider other contaminants.

Things we know can go wrong

Things we know can go wrong …



  • 1 in 15 homes

  • 10 % lung cancer

    Water intrusion

  • decays materials

  • increases growth and activity of biologicals

    • insects

    • moulds

    • bacteria

Indoor pm dust contents

Indoor PM (dust) contents

  • human hair

  • animal fur

  • human skin cells

  • animal skin cells (dander)

  • animal secretions

    • urine

  • insect particles

  • insect excretions

  • bacteria

    • endotoxins

  • food particles

  • mould

    • spores

    • hyphae

    • cell components

    • mycotoxins

    • mVOCs

  • fibers of textiles, paper

  • insulation particles

  • minerals from outdoor soil

  • others e.g. hobbies, paint

  • adsorbed SVOCs and VOCs



  • Increased mite activity

  • Increased mite feces production

  • Increased mould growth (humidity > 60%)

    • spores

    • hyphae (biomass)

    • cell components - enolase, beta-glucans

    • mycotoxins

    • mVOCs

  • Increased bacteria growth

    • endotoxins

  • Decay of organic building materials

    • VOCs

Moisture and health risk

Moisture and Health Risk

  • The evidence for a causal association between dampness and respiratory health effects is strong

    • wheeze

    • asthma

    • recurrent airways infections

    • nasal congestion

    • rhinitis

    • hoarse voice

Indoor air soup add contents constantly and stir continuously

Indoor air soup:Add contents constantly and stir continuously

Contents: PM, VOCs, SVOCs, other chemicals, O3, biologicals

Stir continuously:

Chemical reactions:

  • Mixture in air

  • Production of PM

  • Adsorption

  • Oxidation

  • Surface chemistry*

    *surfaces enhance effective reaction rates

Chemical cocktail or indoor chemistry

“Chemical cocktail”orIndoor chemistry

Indoor pollutants react with each other.

occurs either in the gas phase or on surfaces

large surface area compared to outdoors

walls, floors, carpets, furnishings

skin and respiratory tract (breathing zone)

oxygenation (ozone) reactions, acid-base reactions, hydrolysis reactions, and decomposition reactions

major source of free radicals and other short-lived reactive species in indoor environments

What is good iaq

Poor ventilation is associated with asthma in kids

Carreiro-Martins P. EurJ Pediatr. 2014 Mar 4. (ahead of print)

Exposures to volatilized components of water-based paint, water-based cleaning products, glass cleaning, oven cleaning, dish-washing, and the use of chlorine bleach significantly increases the risks of acute asthma, and other acute respiratory symptoms.

ChoiH. IntJ Environ Res Public Health. 2010 Dec;7(12):4213-37.

Ashrae standards and guidelines

ASHRAE Standards and Guidelines

  • do not consider interactions

  • do not consider susceptible groups

    Who is susceptible?

  • Children

    • increased exposures relative to adults

    • organ systems are still maturing

    • immature detoxification systems

  • Women

    • More allergies and asthma

    • Poorer detoxifiers

Abnormal genotype for detoxification poor detoxifiers

Abnormal Genotype for Detoxification (poor detoxifiers)

  • more susceptible to the respiratory effects of air pollution

  • poor detoxification can adversely affect lung function, including increasing the risk of ozone-induced asthma and wheezing

  • Poor detoxification leads to oxidative stress

    Islam T. Glutathione-S-transferase (GST) P1, GSTM1, exercise, ozone and asthma incidence in school children. Thorax. 2009; 64(3):197-202.

    Romieu I. GSTM1 and GSTP1 and respiratory health in asthmatic children exposed to ozone. EurRespir J. 2006 Nov;28(5):953-9.

    McCunney RJ. Asthma, genes, and air pollution. J Occup Environ Med. 2005; 47(12):1285-91

Oxidative stress can damage cells

Oxidative stress can damage cells

Oxidative stress

Oxidative stress

  • Chronic asthma is associated with oxidative stress

  • Oxidative stress is increased in acute exacerbations

    Fatani SH. Biomarkers of oxidative stress in acute and chronic bronchial asthma. J Asthma. 2014 Mar 19. (ahead of print)

  • Oxidative stress can be caused by indoor exposures:


    Hope J.ScientificWorldJournal. 2013 Apr 18;2013:767482.


    Kim JH. Ind Health 2011;49(1):8-14


  • Phthalates: Kovacic P. Med Hypotheses 2010 Apr;74(4):626-8

  • PBDE: Fernie KJ. ToxicolSci 2005 Dec;88(2):375-83

Ashrae position document on indoor air quality july 21 2011

ASHRAE Position Document on Indoor Air Quality July 21, 2011

  • providing superior IAQ can:

    • improve health, work performance and school performance

    • reduce health care costs

Treatment superior air quality

Treatment“superior air quality”

Improvement of IAQ by a factor of 2–7 compared with existing standards:

  • decreases risk of allergic symptoms

  • decreases risk of asthma

  • increases office productivity

  • Increases school learning

    Something is wrong with present standards



  • Improve ventilation

  • Decrease contamination sources

  • Clean (filter) the air

Reduce exposures

Reduce exposures

What is good iaq

Take a deep breath

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