J. Phys. IV France
Volume 121, December 2004
Page(s) 209 - 221

J. Phys. IV France 121 (2004) 209-221

DOI: 10.1051/jp4:2004121014

Indoor air pollution

P. Brimblecombe and M. Cashmore

School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK

Although air pollution indoors has been a problem for a long time, because of indoor heating in poorly ventilated interiors, significant scientific study is really a product of the late 20$^{\rm th}$ C. Increased time spent indoors and the regulatory problems of these seemingly private and familiar spaces have confronted legislators with considerable problems in how to respond. Although it is evident that pollutants leak from outdoor air to the indoor environment, there are a far wider range of air pollutants indoors that arise though building materials, consumer products and the range of indoor activities. Indoor-outdoor ratios prove a useful tool for establishing the likely sources of air pollutants within buildings. Although the prime concern with indoor pollution was health there is also worry about airborne contaminants in manufacturing industries, museums and archives. In recent years there have been a number of studies that show that indoor air pollution has a subtle chemistry that produces a range of novel products. Because the indoor environment has less photochemical activity, photosensitive species such as the NO3 radical can potentially play a role. The presence of high surface areas indoors also means that reactions with surfaces are also important.

© EDP Sciences 2004