A comprehensive air quality investigation at an aquatic centre: Indoor/outdoor comparisons
Air quality and comfort parameters in a naturally ventilated aquatic centre were studied in relation to the outdoor pollution levels. Simultaneous measurements of PM 2.5, as well as of volatile organic compounds, were carried out for the indoor and outdoor environment of the aquatic centre. The chemical analysis of ionic species and trace elements associated with particulate matter was also performed. In addition, automated analyzer for NO2 and O3 was used in order to record the indoor and outdoor levels of these pollutants. Analysis of diurnal variation of the pollutants’ concentration was applied to the collected data, allowing the identification of potential variation on the sources affecting the indoor air quality. PM 2.5 concentration was almost two times higher indoors than outdoors with average values of 13.96 and 6.78 μg/m3, respectively. Concerning the ion fraction of PM 2.5, SO42− and Ca2+ were the ions with higher concentration indoors with values of 1.06 and 0.93 μg/m3, respectively, while the percentage of Cl− to the PM 2.5 fraction of the indoor atmosphere (9%) was too high than outdoor ones (1%). These results showed that indoor air of swimming pool concerning PM 2.5 and ionic species is mainly affected by the chlorination process along with the comfort conditions (high relative humidity) created during the operation of the facility. The common volatile organic compound concentrations at indoor air are generally in higher levels, compared to the outdoor air with p,m-xylene and toluene to be the substances with the higher concentration for indoor and outdoor area, respectively (7.80 and 1.57 μg/m3); nevertheless, values were rather low compared with the findings of other studies. Also, they clearly demonstrate a diurnal variation as a result of poor ventilation during night. As it was expected, chloroform showed the highest concentration compared to the other volatile organic compounds with values ranging from 3.35 to 135.89 μg/m3, with an average of 54.50 μg/m3. Concerning the NO2 concentration, indoor levels showed an increased pattern when the swimming pool was fully occupied, a fact that reveals a possible correlation. As an overall conclusion, the natural ventilation and the disinfection process seem to play a key role to the air quality of the indoor air of the aquatic centre.
KeywordsAir quality VOC PM2.5 Aquatic centre Diurnal variation Ionic species
The proposed research was performed within the framework of the Research Program: “Energy upgrade and rational use of environmental resources in the athletic centers of the Municipality of Kozani, Western Macedonia” (duration: May 2016 to January 2017), funded within the framework of the Specific Program for the Development of Western Macedonia Region and executed by the University of Western Macedonia, Mechanical Engineering Department, Environmental Technology Laboratory.
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