IAQ Research of the Month – May 2021

May 31, 2021

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

Research Summaries

The negative health effects of under-ventilation cannot be attributed to elevated carbon dioxide alone. Human bio-effluents and other pollutants were shown to play a larger role. Indoor Air

During cleaning, home care aides had the highest TVOC exposure when spraying chemicals compared to wiping. 65% experienced peak chlorine exposures above the OSHA PEL ceiling limit of 1 ppm when using bleach-based products. JOEH

Parents’ health worry influenced the reporting of their children’s indoor environment-related symptoms. Indoor Air

Decreasing long-term exposures to nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and correlated air pollutants could lower breast cancer risk. Environmental Health Perspectives

In northern Canadian homes, human occupancy and activities appeared to have a greater impact on microbiological parameters than the ventilation strategy. Indoor Air

Office buildings can use filters with a MERV 13 efficiency or higher to reduce indoor exposures to outdoor PM2.5. Building and Environment

Asymptomatic individuals might be an important driver of influenza transmission. The Lancet Global Health

SARS-CoV-2 transmission is predominated by the short-range airborne route and exacerbated by poor ventilation. Indoor Air

A study of Georgia elementary schools found that improved ventilation and filtration were more closely associated with reduced COVID-19 incidence compared to other factors.  CDC MMWR

A model showed that transmission of coronavirus between nearby apartment buildings in a high-density city is possible. Frontiers in the Built Environment

Featured Online Course: CIAQM

Although most of our classes are designed for consultants or contractors, Indoor Sciences also developed a class that caters to facility managers, building engineers, and others that exclusively work in a single building or campus. Unlike consultants that hop around between different buildings every day, facility managers must deal with the “soft side” of indoor air quality: being a good listener and handling complaints with respect.

Indoor Sciences teaches the IAQ Manager Course as a 20-hour online course. It helps prepare students for the Certified IAQ Manager (CIAQM) designation offered by the American Council for Accredited Certification (ACAC).

To learn more about this course, visit our page: IAQ Manager Course.

Additional Resources


I wish you a Happy Memorial Day! May we remember those that have sacrificed to help us reach new heights. Beyond my gratitude for those who sacrificed their lives to secure my freedoms, I also wanted to recognize two people that played a pivotal role in my career that have recently passed away.
George Benda gave me my first job in indoor air quality in 1995 and I never looked back. On my first hospital project, I lost a day’s worth of data and was sure he would fire me. Instead, he showed me grace, continued to put trust in me, and even give me larger responsibilities.

Dave Munn was my direct boss for a few years at Chelsea Group and was such a kind and patient mentor. Beyond teaching me the fundamentals of HVAC systems, he instilled in me a passion and interest for the topic that sticks with me today.

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