Indoor air pollutants, ventilation rate determinants and potential control strategies in Chinese dwellings: A literature review
Authors: Ye, W; Zhang, X; Gao, J; Cao, G; Zhou, X; Su, X
Science of the Total Environment 586:696-729.
HERO ID: 3603220
After nearly twenty years of rapid modernization and urbanization in China, huge achievements have transformed . . .
After nearly twenty years of rapid modernization and urbanization in China, huge achievements have transformed the daily lives of the Chinese people. However, unprecedented environmental consequences in both indoor and outdoor environments have accompanied this progress and have triggered public awareness and demands for improved living standards, especially in residential environments. Indoor pollution data measured for >7000 dwellings (approximately 1/3 were newly decorated and were tested for volatile organic compound (VOC) measurements, while the rest were tested for particles, phthalates and other semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs), moisture/mold, inorganic gases and radon) in China within the last ten years were reviewed, summarized and compared with indoor concentration recommendations based on sensory or health end-points. Ubiquitous pollutants that exceed the concentration recommendations, including particulate matter, formaldehyde, benzene and other VOCs, moisture/mold, inorganic gases and radon, were found, indicating a common indoor air quality (IAQ) issue in Chinese dwellings. With very little prevention, oral, inhalation and dermal exposure to those pollutants at unhealthy concentration levels is almost inevitable. CO2, VOCs, humidity and radon can serve as ventilation determinants, each with different ventilation demands and strategies, at typical occupant densities in China; and particle reduction should be a prerequisite for determining ventilation requirements. Two directional ventilation modes would have profound impacts on improving IAQ for Chinese residences are: 1) natural (or window) ventilation with an air cleaner and 2) mechanical ventilation with an air filtration unit, these two modes were reviewed and compared for their applicability and advantages and disadvantages for reducing human exposure to indoor air pollutants. In general, mode 2 can more reliably ensure good IAQ for occupants; while mode 1 is more applicable due to its low cost and low energy consumption. However, besides a roadmap, substantial efforts are still needed to develop affordable, applicable and general ventilation solutions to improve the IAQ of residential buildings in China.