UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Indoor Exposures to Fine Aerosols and Acid Gases Koutrakis, P.; Brauer, Michael; Briggs, S.L.K.; Leaderer, B. P.


Indoor exposures to aerosols and gases are associated with both indoor and outdoor air pollution sources. The identification of sources and the assessment of their relative contribution can be a complicated process due to a) the presence of numerous indoor sources, which can vary from building to building; b) the uncertainties associated with the estimation of the impact of outdoor sources on indoor air quality; c) the interactions between pollutants; and d) the importance of reactions between pollutants and indoor surfaces. It is well established that fine particles (diameter less than or equal to 2.5 microns) originating from outdoor sources such as automobiles, oil and coal combustion, incineration, and diverse industrial activities can penetrate into the indoor environment. Indoor/outdoor ratios, usually varying between 0.4 and 0.8, depend on parameters such as particle size and density, air exchange rate, and the surface-to-volume ratio of the indoor environment. Determining fine particle elemental composition makes it possible to identify the contribution of different outdoor sources. This paper focuses on the origin and the concentration of indoor aerosols and acid gases by highlighting the results from two indoor air quality studies.

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