Week 12: Managing Environmental Health Risks: Indoor air, housing

Hey guys, I think we are getting near the end.

The topic of this week is Indoor air, and it’s also the last lecture of the course. Next week, we will be presenting and listening to the case study presentations.

To begin with, on contrary to most believe, closing the door and make your house isolated from the outside doesn’t keep the pollution away. Indoor air can have pollutants as well and if it get stuck in a place too long, well, you can imagine the harm it will bring right?

Before studying this lecture, I always thought that well, since the air outside is so polluted, it’s best if I close all the doors and protect myself from the pollution. Ha, silly right? But it’s what I had believed for years, and I think there are people beside me believe in this too.

Let’s go briefly over this topic. The sources of indoor air pollution include:

  • Combustion by-products (include CO, CO2, SO2, formaldehyde, hydrocarbons, NOx and a variety of airborne particles)
  • Microorganisms and allergens (include detergents, humidifiers, air-cooling towers, household pets,…)
  • Formaldehyde and other organic compounds
  • Asbestos fibers
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Radon

The indoor air pollution was highlighted by the so-called sick building syndrome (people living or working in certain buildings have various types of chronic ailments)

To manage this, there are some control measures:


References and further reading:



0674258592.01.MZZZZZZZ Environmental Health Revised Edition, Dade W. Moeller.



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