IAQ Research of the Month – September 2021

Sep 30, 2021

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

Research Summaries

Higher PM2.5 and CO2 concentrations were associated with slower response times and reduced accuracy in office workers. Environmental Research Letters

This review study concluded that total spore counts via spore traps are not a consistently reliable method for identifying dampness in a single house (but Penicillium/Aspergillus counts showed a stronger signal). Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology

Homes receiving an intervention of continuous balanced ventilation with an energy recovery ventilator and improved filtration had the best indoor air quality improvements. Science of The Total Environment

Air cleaners that introduce new chemical agents or initiate complex chemistry can result in the release of reactive intermediates and/or byproducts into the indoor environment. Environmental Science & Technology

Cases of Legionnaires’ Disease in the Netherlands were more likely to be from residents living near wastewater treatment plants. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health

Personal exposures to volatile organic compounds were greatest at home when compared to other indoor environments, within vehicles, and outdoors. Sensors

Indoor swimming pools run the risk of producing hazardous chlorine gas when disinfectants mix with certain pH reducers. JOEH

Early age exposure to moisture and mold is related to a marker for lung inflammation at age 6. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology

This study evaluated the survival of SARS-CoV-2 on N95 respirators and found that 99% of viable virus was inactivated after 5 days, with relative humidity being a key variable. JOEH

In a hospital, airborne SARS-CoV-2 was highest in rooms with COVID-19 infected patients and in corridors adjacent to these rooms. Environmental Research

This study found that current ventilation standards are unlikely to control the spread of airborne contagious viruses with high emission rates. Geoscience Frontiers

High volume air sampling for SARS-CoV-2 was more successful as a surveillance method compared to surface sampling.  Indoor Air

Expression of the SARS-CoV-2 cell entry receptor (ACE2) was highly variable between individuals. Science Advances

Featured Online Course: CIE/CIEC

You can take our most popular class, the Indoor Environmentalist Course, online without needing to leave the safety of your home. The 32-hour online class includes sections on contaminants, health effects, HVAC, building science, standards, remediation, and more. Online students consistently pass the Certified Indoor Environmentalist (CIE) and Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant (CIEC) exams at the same rate as students of the on-site class. You can access the online content at any time — day or night. The entire course is video-based and is guaranteed to keep your interest!

To register, click: Indoor Environmentalist (CIE/CIEC) Online Course.

Additional Resources



October is “Healthy Lung Month” so take a moment to consider how you might improve your pulmonary health.  That might mean switching cleaning chemicals, opening a window, or improving filtration at your workplace or home.   

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