IAQ Research of the Month – July 2021

Jul 30, 2021

This newsletter highlights recent research related to indoor air quality (IAQ) and COVID-19.

Research Summaries

Portable HEPA air cleaners can complement asthma education programs and be part of an effective overall strategy to reduce asthma triggers in the bedrooms of children with asthma. Indoor Air

Emissions from a residence and its furnishings were comparable in magnitude to emissions from occupants and occupant activities (e.g. cooking and cleaning). Indoor Air

This study used advanced instruments to study hundreds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in two homes over time. Acrolein, acetaldehyde, and acrylic acid concentrations were above chronic advisory health guidelines. Environmental Science & Technology

This study used silicone wristbands to passively measure exposure to semi-volatile organic compounds (sVOCs) in office buildings across several countries. They found office workers exposed to several banned substances including PBDEs, certain pesticides, and PCBs. Environment International

Air cleaners generating hydroxyl radicals can contribute to the formation of secondary organic aerosol (SOA), a known health hazard. Environmental Science & Technology Letters

Burning candles can have a negative impact on indoor air quality, especially when air movement creates a flame disturbance. Indoor Air

Residential oven use resulted in elevated levels of siloxanes, a concerning class of chemicals, likely due to silicone materials inside the oven. Environmental Science & Technology Letters

PM2.5 may be an important index of workers’ satisfaction with COVID-19 countermeasures and productivity. Indoor Air

Portable HEPA air cleaners can reduce exposure to viral aerosols in indoor environments, especially when combined with universal masking. CDC MMWR

The concentration of SARS-CoV-2 recovered on residential HVAC filters may be a useful tool for estimating airborne levels in homes. Science of The Total Environment

Fine respiratory aerosols (≤5μm) emitted by COVID-19 patients when talking and singing contain more SARS-CoV-2 copies than coarse aerosols (>5μm). PrePrint

The amount of virus that transferred from a contaminated object to a finger (and vice-versa) was estimated to be around 20%, but it depended on the type of virus, surface, and other factors. PrePrint

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Additional Resources



With the delta variant raging in many hot spots, stay diligent!  Remember that less than 1% of cases are from outdoor transmission.  So let’s create that outdoor environment indoors with good ventilation.   

Ian Cull, PE, CIH
[email protected]
(312) 920-9393