Interdisciplinary Reviews of the Scientific Literature on Indoor Air Quality & Health: Experiences & Conclusions

December 7, 2000 - 12:00pm
Bldg. 90

Nordic and European multidisciplinary scientific groups have reviewed the ”total” scientific literature on issues of great public interest. The issues have dealt with TVOC/health, exposure to pets or "dampness" and health, and the association between ventilation and health. Five groups of 8-13 scientists from relevant disciplines have been involved. Following a thorough literature search all articles are presented, and discussed at a three days review meeting. A consensus statement is taken on whether the article is relevant (for the question at issue). Finally a consensus is taken, based on all articles, on the state-of-the art on the specific question at issue. Conventionally around 1000 articles are identified in the literature search, ca 100 are deemed relevant from abstracts, and around 50 deemed relevant and containing information on the question at issue. Main results are that TVOC is not a health relevant measure, pets at infancy is a risk factor for sensitisation, and allergic disease, "damp" buildings is a risk factor for wheeze, cough, and asthma, but "dampness" can not be adequately defined, and that ventilation rates in offices and schools below 25 L/s per person means an increased risk of SBS, short time sick-leave, and possibly reduced productivity. The work has meant a great learning process for all involved and shown that IAQ/health is a truly interdisciplinary field. Many articles that are published are non-informative or inconclusive due to shortcomings from the scientists, and the review process (being within disciplinary).

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