Health Effects of Indoor Air Pollution
When the Clean Air Act was passed in 1970, there was an assumption that controlling concentrations of serious wide-spread outdoor air pollutants such as the criteria pollutants and the hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) would protect the public from adverse effects of air pollution. Another early assumption was that blue collar workers were the exposed occupational population and that white collar workers were not subjected to harmful air pollutants on the job. However, sometime in the 1980s it became apparent that much of the exposure to the public from air pollutants occurred in the home and to workers from environments in office buildings. Workplaces with traditional air pollution exposures such as steel mills, saw mills, refineries and chemical plants had been targeted for regulation by the Occupational Health and Safely Act (OSHA) in the early 1970s. Indoor office buildings had not been included under OHSA and private homes contained totally unregulated atmospheres. In the late 1970s in conjunction with various problems with imported oil from OPEC countries, the US instigated recommendations for energy conservation which included constructing “tight” buildings. Buildings were built without operable windows and air exchange rates were reduced to save energy. Soon scientists and the public were hearing about the “sick building syndrome”. Of course it was not the building but rather the human occupants who were “sick”. All across the US clusters of office workers complained of a list of diverse and often subjective symptoms such as those listed in Table 15–1.
KeywordsVolatile Organic Compound Allergy Clin Immunol Environmental Tobacco Smoke Indoor Radon Environmental Tobacco Smoke Exposure
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Anuszewski J, Larson TV, Koenig JQ. Simultaneous indoor and outdoor particle light-scattering measurements at nine homes using a portable nephelometer. J Exp Analy Environ Epidemiol 1998; 8: 483–491.Google Scholar
- Bardana EJ, Jr, Montanaro A. Indoor air pollution and health. Marcel Dekker, Inc, New York, 1997.Google Scholar
- Clayton CA, Perritt RL, Pellizzari ED, et al. Particle total exposure assessment methodology (PTEAM) study: Distributions of aerosol and elemental concentrations in personal, indoor, and outdoor air samples in a Southern California community. J Exp Analy Environ Epidemiol 1993; 3: 227–250.Google Scholar
- EPA. Respiratory health effects of passive smoking; lung cancer and other disorders. EPA/600/6–90/006. December, 1992.Google Scholar
- EPA. Indoor air pollution. An introduction for health professionals. US Goverment Printing Office 523–21/81322, 1994.Google Scholar
- Harving H, Dahl R, Molhave L. Lung function and bronchial reactivity in asthmatics during exposure to volatile organic compounds. Am Rev Respir Dis 1992; 143: 751–754.Google Scholar
- Lambert WE, Samet JM. Indoor Air Pollution IN: Harber P, Schenker MB, Balmes JR (eds). Occupational and Environmental Respiratory Disease. Mosby, St Louis, 1996. pp 784–807.Google Scholar
- NAS. Environmental tobacco smoke. Measuring exposures and assessing the health effects. National Research Council, Washington DC, 1986.Google Scholar