Preliminary Air Quality and Microclimatic Conditions Study in the Santuario della Beata Vergine dei Miracoli in Saronno (VA)

Molecules. 2023 Feb 7;28(4):1615. doi: 10.3390/molecules28041615.


In the present work, the microclimatic conditions (temperature (T), relative humidity (RH), and illuminance (I)), together with the air quality (both aerosol particulate matter (PM) and gaseous pollutants), were monitored to evaluate the environmental conditions inside the Santuario della Beata Vergine dei Miracoli in Saronno (VA), a masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance. For this purpose, dataloggers were used to carry out the T, RH, and I measurements, whereas an optical particle counter (OPC) was employed to perform the particle count and determine the concentration of the aerosol PM. Finally, diffusive passive samplers were used to determine the concentration of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes). To identify possible spatial variations, the studies were conducted at different sites and different heights in the Sanctuary. Particular focus was given to the Easter week during which liturgical services attracting large numbers of people were carried out. Additionally, a comparison with the outdoor values was performed to highlight the accumulation phenomena and other variations in the concentrations of the species. Despite the indoor concentrations of pollutants and variations in the thermohygrometric parameters being generally lower compared to the outdoors (e.g., 5.2-15.0 µg m-3 versus 17.7-45.3 µg m-3 for NO2), the microclimatic conditions were often not in line with the Italian legislation and technical standards.

Keywords: air quality; cultural heritage; microclimate; preventive conservation.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants* / analysis
  • Air Pollution* / analysis
  • Air Pollution, Indoor* / analysis
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Environmental Pollutants*
  • Humans
  • Nitrogen Dioxide
  • Particulate Matter / analysis


  • Air Pollutants
  • Nitrogen Dioxide
  • Particulate Matter
  • Environmental Pollutants

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.