Indoor air quality and health effects in modern office buildings in Europe


  • Paolo Carrer Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche e Cliniche “L. Sacco”, Università degli studi di Milano



Indoor air quality, modern office building, risk assessment


The interest in the indoor air quality in modern office buildings in Europe is growing for the measures in place to reduce energy consumption and for the risks correlated to the secondary reaction pollutants. In this context in recent years have been promoted several European research projects, including the project "Officair: On the reduction of health effects from combined exposure to indoor air pollutants in modern offices". The main objective of this project was the assessment of risks to health related to indoor air quality in a modern office buildings in Europe. A total of 167 modern buildings of which 21 in Italy have been investigated. The questionnaire was completed by 7,440 workers. The percentage of dissatisfied for the indoor air quality is in many parameters superior to 20%, representing an indication of discomfort and/or work-related stress worthy of investigation. The results of this project suggest caution in the adoption of the current measures in place to reduce energy consumption. More attention should be paid even in the choice of cleaning products and in the office cleaning activities. A preventive approach should include two integrated strategies: control of sources and adequate ventilation. OFFICAIR  has also enabled to develop an innovative protocol for the evaluation of indoor air quality risks and related effects on the health and comfort of the occupants.


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