Chemical Pollution in Healing Spaces: The Decalogue of the Best Practices for Adequate Indoor Air Quality in Inpatient Rooms

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Nov 10;16(22):4388. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16224388.


Indoor air quality (IAQ) is one of the main topics in which governments are focusing. In healthcare facilities, several studies have reported data analysis and case studies to improve users' health. Nowadays, although many studies have been conducted related to the biological and physical risks, the chemical risks have been less investigated and only in some specific functional areas of the hospitals. Starting from some systematic reviews and research works, this paper aims to list the best healthy practices for an adequate IAQ in inpatient wards. In particular, the decalogue lists the strategies related to chemical pollution, starting from design and management, with a focus on (a) localization of hospitals and inpatient rooms, (b) hospital room, (c) microclimatic parameters, (d) ventilation systems, (e) materials and finishing, (f) furniture and equipment, (g) cleaning products and activities, (h) maintenance and (i) management activities, and (l) users and workers. The multidisciplinary approach emphasizes the need for interdisciplinary knowledge and skills aimed to find solutions able to protect users' health status. The design and management decision-making, ranging from the adequate choices of construction site and hospital exposure, finishing materials, cleaning and maintenance activities, etc., which can affect the IAQ must be carried out based on scientific research and data analysis.

Keywords: best practices; chemical pollution; decalogue; indoor air quality (IAQ); inpatient room; management and design strategies.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / standards*
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / prevention & control*
  • Detergents / standards
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Hospital Design and Construction / standards*
  • Hospitals*
  • Humans
  • Ventilation
  • Workplace


  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Detergents