Indoor Exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds in Children: Health Risk Assessment in the Context of Physiological Development
Indoor air quality is strongly affected by the contamination of ambient air and that related to building and finishing materials and to human activity. Poor ventilation of closed spaces facilitates retention of greater quantity of pollutants. Infants and children are at particular risk of exposure to indoor air pollutants as they undergo rapid physiological and biochemical changes and demonstrate activity patterns unlike those in adults. Health risk assessment in children should be carried out with regard to children-specific factors, since these factors may constitute a source of errors. In this article we weigh up two different: Scenario 1 in which risk assessment was carried out in five age-groups (0–1, 2–3, 4–6, 7–11, and 12–16 years of age) and Scenario 2 encompassing only two age-groups (0–6 and 7–16 years of age). The findings indicate that data on carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic effects obtained by applying the second scenario were overestimated or averaged; either giving much reduced information that may lead to a false judgment on actual risk. This kind of fallacy is avoided when applying the age stratification into a greater number of groups for the health risk assessment in children.
KeywordsChildren Exposure Health risk assessment Indoor air Volatile organic pollutants
The authors would like to thank Ms. Jolanta Łubkowska and Dr. Renata Wiglusz for an invaluable help in making the resources of HIGMAT Central Data Base available. The study was supported by Grant 2011/01/N/NZ7/01547 from the National Science Center in Poland.
Conflicts of Interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest in relation to this article.
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