Indoor Air Pollution

  • Mihalis Lazaridis
Part of the Environmental Pollution book series (EPOL, volume 19)


People spend about 85% of their time indoors and an additional 3% inside vehicles. Therefore people are exposed to gaseous air pollutants and particulate matter from both outdoor (ambient) sources, through infiltration of outdoor air, and indoor sources. The main question which arises is how safe is the house environment in relation to the air quality indoors. A general overview of indoor air quality is given in Chapter 8. A review of the most common air pollutants and their sources is performed. Air pollutants such as ozone, particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, radon, carbon monoxide, asbestos, heavy metals, formaldehyde, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychloric diphenyls and pesticides are examined as well as the chemistry of organic compounds indoors. Furthermore the effect of tobacco smoke indoors is studied, since it is one of the most dangerous and widely found pollutants. We also examine some general aspects of bioaerosols indoors. Finally, we describe the formulation of mass balance models, which are called microenvironmental models.


Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Volatile Organic Compound Indoor Environment Radon Concentration Formaldehyde Concentration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). (1997). Toxicological profile for polychlorinated biphenyls. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Public Health Service.Google Scholar
  2. Baek, S.-O., Kim, Y.-S., & Perry, R. (1997). Indoor air quality in homes, offices and restaurants in Korean Urban areas – Indoor/Outdoor relationships. Atmospheric Environment, 31, 529–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brown, S. K., Sim, M. R., Abramson, M. J., & Gray, C. N. (1994). Concentrations of volatile organic compounds in indoor air – A review. Indoor Air, 4, 123–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chan, C. C., Ozkaynak, H., Spengler, J. D., & Sheldon, L. (1991). Driver exposure to volatile organic compounds, CO, Ozone and NO2 under different driving conditions. Environmental Science & Technology, 25, 964–972.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Finlayson-Pitts, B. J., & και Pitts, J. M. (2000). Chemistry of the upper and lower atmosphere. CA: Academic.Google Scholar
  6. Health Effects Institute – Asbestos Research. (1991). Asbestos in public and commercial buildings: A literature review and synthesis of current knowledge. Cambridge: Health Effects Institute.Google Scholar
  7. Hinds, W. C. (1999). Aerosol technology. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  8. Lazaridis, M. (2008). The environmental chemistry of aerosols. In In: I. Colbeck organic aerosols (pp. 91–115). UK: Blalckwells Publication.Google Scholar
  9. Lazaridis, M., & Alexandropoulou, V. (2009). Variability of indoor and outdoor gaseous aerosol precursors. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution: Focus, 9, 3–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Lioy, P. J. (1990). Assessing total human exposure to contaminants. Environmental Science & Technology, 24, 938–945.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Morrison, G. C. (2010). Indoor organic chemistry. In Colbeck Ian & Lazaridis Mihalis (Eds.), Human exposure to pollutants via dermal absorption and inhalation. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  12. Nazaroff, W. W., & Weschler, C. J. (2004). Cleaning products and air fresheners; exposure to primary and secondary air pollutants. Atmospheric Environment, 38, 2841–2865.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Nazaroff, W. W., Weschler, C. J., & Corsi, R. L. (2003). Indoor air chemistry and physics. Atmospheric Environment, 37, 5431–5453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Nero, A. V., Schwehr, M. B., Nazaroff, W. W., & Revzan, K. L. (1986). Distribution of airborne Radon-222 concentrations in US homes. Science, 234, 992–997.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Osborne, M. C. (1987). Four common diagnostic problems that inhibit radon mitigation. JAPCA, 37, 604–606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Pankow, J. F., & Bidleman, T. F. (1992). Interdependence of the slopes and intercepts from log-log correlations of measured gas-particle partitioning and vapor pressure 1. Theory and analysis of available data. Atmospheric Environment, 26A, 1071–1080.Google Scholar
  17. Ruzer, L. S. and Harley, N. H. (Editors) (2005). Aerosols Handbook – Measurement, Dosimetry and Health Effects. CRC Press.Google Scholar
  18. Spicer, C. W., Coutant, R. W., Ward, G. F., Joseph, D. W., Gaynor, A. J., & Billick, I. H. (1989). Rates and mechanisms of NO2 removal from indoor air residential materials. Environment International, 15, 643–654.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Tichenor, B. A., & Mason, M. A. (1988). Organic emissions from consumer products and building materials to the indoor environment. JAPCA, 38, 264–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Turco, R. P. (2002). Earth under siege: From air pollution to global change. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Wells, J. R. (2005). Gas-phase chemistry of alpha-terpineol with ozone and OH radical: Rate constants and products. Environmental Science & Technology, 39, 6937–6943.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Weschler, C. J. (2004). Chemical reactions among indoor pollutants: what we’ve learned in the new millennium. Indoor Air, 14, 184–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Weschler, C. J. (2000). Ozone in indoor environments: concentrations and chemistry. Indoor Air, 10(4), 269–288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mihalis Lazaridis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental EngineeringTechnical University of CreteChaniaGreece

Personalised recommendations