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Int J Biometeorol. 1998 Aug;42(1):1-7.

Indoor climate and air quality. Review of current and future topics in the field of ISB study group 10.

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Institute for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany.


In industrialized countries about 90% of the time is spent indoors. The ambient parameters affecting indoor thermal comfort are air temperature and humidity, air velocity, and radiant heat exchange within an enclosure. In assessing the thermal environment, one needs to consider all ambient parameters, the insulating properties of the occupants' clothing, and the activity level of the occupants by means of heat balance models of the human body. Apart from thermal parameters, air quality (measured and perceived) is also of importance for well-being and health in indoor environments. Pollutant levels are influenced by both outdoor concentrations and by indoor emissions. Indoor levels can thus be lower (e.g. in the case of ozone and SO2) or higher (e.g. for CO2 and formaldehyde) than outdoor levels. Emissions from cooking play an important role, especially in developing countries. The humidity of the ambient air has a wide range of effects on the energy and water balance of the body as well as on elasticity, air quality perception, build-up of electrostatic charge and the formation or mould. However, its effect on the indoor climate is often overestimated. While air-handling systems are commonly used for achieving comfortable indoor climates, their use has also been linked to a variety of problems, some of which have received attention within the context of "sick building syndrome".

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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