Sources and concentrations of indoor nitrogen dioxide in Hamburg (west Germany) and Erfurt (east Germany)

Sci Total Environ. 2000 Apr 24;250(1-3):51-62. doi: 10.1016/s0048-9697(00)00361-2.


Here we report indoor and outdoor concentrations of NO2 for Erfurt and Hamburg and assess the contribution of the most important indoor sources (e.g. the presence of gas cooking ranges, smoking) and outdoor sources (traffic exhaust emissions). We examined the relative contribution of the different sources of NO2 to the total indoor NO2 levels in Erfurt and Hamburg. NO2 indoor concentrations in Hamburg were slightly higher than those in Erfurt (i.e. living room: 15 microg m(-3) for Erfurt and 17 microg m(-3) for Hamburg). A linear regression model including the variables, place of residence, season and outdoor NO2 levels, location of the home within the city, housing and occupant characteristics accounted for 38% of the NO2 variance. The most important predictors of indoor NO2 concentrations were gas in cooking followed by other characteristics, such as ventilation or outdoor NO2 level. Residences in which gas was used for cooking, or in which occupants smoked, had substantially higher indoor NO2 concentrations (41 or 18% increase, respectively). An increase in the outdoor NO2 concentration from the 25th to the 75th-percentile (17 microg m(-3)) was associated with a 33% increase in the living room NO2 concentration. Multiple regression analysis for both cities separately illustrated that use of gas for cooking was the major indoor source of NO2. This variable caused a similar increase in the indoor NO2 levels in each city (43% in Erfurt and 47% in Hamburg). However, outdoor sources of NO2 (motor vehicle traffic) contributed more to indoor NO2 levels in Hamburg than in Erfurt.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution, Indoor / analysis*
  • Cooking
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Germany
  • Housing
  • Humans
  • Nitrogen Dioxide / analysis*
  • Ventilation


  • Nitrogen Dioxide