Indoor environmental quality in households of families with infant twins under 1 year of age living in Porto

Environ Res. 2020 Nov 14;110477. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.110477. Online ahead of print.


Exposure to air pollution in early years can exacerbate the risk of noncommunicable diseases throughout childhood and the entire life course. This study aimed to assess temperature, relative humidity (RH), carbon dioxide (CO2) and monoxide (CO), particulate matter (PM2.5, PM10), ultrafine particles, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (VOC) levels in the two rooms where infant twins spend more time at home (30 dwellings, Northern Portugal). Findings showed that, in general, the worst indoor environmental quality (IEQ) settings were found in bedrooms. In fact, although most of the bedrooms surveyed presented adequate comfort conditions in terms of temperature and RH, several children are sleeping in a bedroom with improper ventilation and/or with a significant degree of air pollution. In particular, mean concentrations higher than recommended limits were found for CO2, PM2.5, PM10 and total VOC. Additionally, terpenes and decamethylcyclopentasiloxane were identified as main components of emissions from indoor sources. Overall, findings revealed that factors related to behaviors of the occupants, namely related to a conscientious use of cleaning products, tobacco and other consumer products (air-fresheners, incenses/candles and insecticides) and promotion of ventilation are essential for the improvement of air quality in households and for the promotion of children's health.

Keywords: Early-life exposures; Household pollution; Indoor environmental quality; Source control.