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J Air Waste Manag Assoc. 2003 Nov;53(11):1312-7.

Sources and concentrations of indoor nitrogen dioxide in Barcelona, Spain.

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Pediatric Service, Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Spain.


Sources and concentrations of indoor nitrogen dioxide (NO2) were examined in Barcelona, Spain, during 1996-1999. A total of 340 dwellings of infants participating in a hospital-based cohort study were selected from different areas of the city. Passive filter badges were used for indoor NO2 measurement over 7-30 days. Dwelling inhabitants completed a questionnaire on housing characteristics and smoking habits. Data on outdoor NO2 concentrations were available for the entire period of the study in the areas of the city where indoor concentrations were determined. Bivariate analysis was performed to investigate relationships between indoor NO2 concentrations on one hand and outdoor NO2 concentrations, housing, and occupant characteristics on the other. Stepwise multiple linear regression was performed with variables that were found to have a significant bivariate relationship. Indoor NO2 mean values ranged between 23.57 ppb in 1996 and 27.02 ppb in 1999, with the highest yearly value of 27.82 ppb in 1997. In the same time period, mean outdoor NO2 concentration ranged between 25.26 and 25.78 ppb with a peak of 30.5 ppb in 1998. Multiple regression analysis showed that principal sources of indoor NO2 concentrations were the use of a gas cooker, the absence of an extractor fan when cooking, and cigarette smoking. The absence of central heating was also associated with higher NO2 concentrations. Finally, each ppb increase in outdoor NO2 was associated with a 1% increase in indoor concentrations.

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