Forging sustainability

Impact of indoor environment on human health
CESAM Responsible researcher - Casimiro Pio
Programme - PTDC/SAU-ESA/65597/2006
Execution dates - 2008-08-01 - 2011-07-31 (36 Months)
Funding Entity - FCT
Funding for CESAM - 85039 €
Total Funding - 176859 €
Proponent Institution - Instituto Tecnológico e Nuclear
Participating Institutions
Universidade de Aveiro
Instituto de Soldadura e Qualidade
Instituto Ricardo Jorge

This project aims 1) to evaluate the representativity of single air samplers in epidemiological studies through use of biomonitors, 2) to obtain mapping of metal concentrations in Lisbon-city for establishing a relationship between air quality and asthma and rhinites, 3) to evaluate the influence of outdoor ambient into indoor ambient, 4) to evaluate the influence of different building materials and school habits into indoor air quality, 5) to evaluate the relevance of both indoor and outdoor air quality in incidence of asthma and other respiratory rhinites. It is a complement to POCI/AMB/55878/2004 project (Impact of the Atmospheric Aerosol in Human Health), using as population the children aged 6/7 years (till 30 June 2006) attending the basic schools in Lisbon-city. The on-going questioned schools are 62, around 30% of the questioned children have asthma and/or rhinites complains. The latter show incresing values from October to May, with 6% and 15% of the cases, respectively. Thus air particulate matter sampling in 1 site of Lisbon-city will be collected from October to May 2006, in 24h periods continuously. In this project, a collector of dry and wet depositions will run side by side with the air collector and native biomonitors (tree bark samples) will be collected during 1 week in January and May from the school yards – 62 yards, to build a distribution mapping of chemical elements in Lisbon-city in both situations of Winter (wetter situation) and Spring (drier situation), identification of pollutant sources as well, and to get knowledge on the outdoor differentiation among the schools [1-3]. A selection of 30 classrooms will be performed based on the number of children with asthma and rhinites. In the selection only children living in school neighbourhood are considered and children whose one or both parents smoke are excluded. Factors as school building age and the outdoor characterization will be taken into account too. For the 30 selected classrooms a database will be built containing room volume, number of children in rooms, state of room conservation, building materials of ceilings, walls and floors, furniture materials, number of hours/day of room ventilation, products used for cleaning, materials used during teaching. To reduce to a minimum the disturbance of the school periods, passive methods rather than active ones will be selected in indoor characterization: A4 sheets of a suitable material enclosed inside a polyethylene box, in 4 replicates, opened when the studied children are present. The passive collectors will stay for 3 months being then replaced by new ones in a total of 3 campaigns from 1 October 2007. The exposed A4 sheets will be analysed for mass by gravimetry, for total mass of chemical elements, for radionuclides and for pollens. During 1 optimized period out of each campaign, passive methods for volatile organic compounds, ketones and aldehydes sampling will run in the selected rooms as well. To determine the CO and CO2 levels, a portable instrument will perform measurements in the rooms before the school start, just before the break, after the break, and at the school end, for optimized periods in each campaign. Temperature and humidity will be measured1 day/week in each campaign, in sequence from Monday to Friday, simultaneously at the schoolrooms. For fungi and bacteria evaluation samples from damped areas of ceiling/wall/floor will be collected and analysed for identification and relative quantification of the species. Influence of outdoor into the indoor will be performed by one measurement of NOx and Pb-210 in each campaign. By the end of 2008 a complete indoor database to play with the health data will be available. Health data concern the register of episodes of asthma and rhinites of the studied childrenfrom October 2007 to June 2008. The control will be the children without those episodes. Registers of performance in school of the children will be collected during the school period 2007/2008. Appropriate statistical procedures will be applied to correlate indoor and health. Biomonitoring, mass concentrations, dry and wet deposition elemental concentrations, radionuclides, pollutant sources identification, Pb-210, temperature, humidity, fungi, bacteria and pollen, register of indoor chracterization, respiratory episodes registers are performed by ITN and the collaborator A.M.G. Pacheco from IST. Elemental concentrations in air particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, cetones, aldheyds, are performed at Aveiro University. CO and CO2 are performed at ISQ. INSA will perform the statistical analysis for correlation of indoor and health.

Members on this project
Casimiro Pio
Principal Investigator
Célia A. Alves

PhD student
Teresa Nunes

CESAM Funding: