International E-publication: Publish Projects, Dissertation, Theses, Books, Souvenir, Conference Proceeding with ISBN.  International E-Bulletin: Information/News regarding: Academics and Research

A review on indoor air pollution and associated health impacts with special reference to building designs

Author Affiliations

  • 1Environmental Pollution Laboratory, Department of Environmental Studies, University of Delhi, Delhi, India
  • 2Environmental Pollution Laboratory, Department of Environmental Studies, University of Delhi, Delhi, India
  • 3Department of Biochemistry, University College of Medical Sciences, University of Delhi, Delhi, India

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 8, Issue (4), Pages 75-85, October,22 (2019)


Human spends most of the time (about 90%) of their lives within indoor environment.The way we design buildings and operate in the indoor setting has a profound impact on human health. For understanding of how building design in urban environment, effects human health there is a necessity of study “buildings as an ecosystem”. The international status of the information on the theme of “indoor air pollution”, “building design” and its “impact on human health” and the search engines like Scopus, PubMed, Web of Science and JSTOR were used and retrieved information in the form of published papers in peer-reviewed journals who at least include two criteria pollutants (CO, CO2, Bioaerosols, VOCs, PM10 and PM2.5) in residential areas.Over last 30 years (1988-2017) about 908 documents were identified on global scale. Out of which 14 studies were satisfied the inclusion criteria rest were excluded due to duplicated reports, not related to the field, reviewed papers, some were not provided relevant data. Published papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals are providing inadequate information on building design, indoor pollution and possible health effects. Tagging above knowledge gap, there is a clear need for further studies to relate indoor air pollutants (either in residential or in commercial building) and its impact on health, especially in diverse climatic locations with polluted outdoor air.


  1. Klepeis N.E., Nelson W.C., Ott W.R., Robinson J.P., Tsang A.M., Switzer P. and Engelmann W.H. (2001)., The National Human Activity Pattern Survey (NHAPS): a resource for assessing exposure to environmental pollutants., Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, 11(3), 231.
  2. Lu C., Deng Q., Li Y., Sundell J. and Norbäck D. (2016)., Outdoor air pollution, meteorological conditions and indoor factors in dwellings in relation to sick building syndrome (SBS) among adults in China., Science of the Total Environment, 560, 186-196.
  3. Amend A.S., Seifert K.A., Samson R. and Bruns T.D. (2010)., Indoor fungal composition is geographically patterned and more diverse in temperate zones than in the tropics., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(31), 13748-13753.
  4. Wong N.H. and Huang B. (2004)., Comparative study of the indoor air quality of naturally ventilated and air-conditioned bedrooms of residential buildings in Singapore., Building and Environment, 39(9), 1115-1123.
  5. Guo P., Yokoyama K., Piao F., Sakai K., Khalequzzaman, M., Kamijima M. and Kitamura F. (2013)., Sick building syndrome by indoor air pollution in Dalian, China., International journal of environmental research and public health, 10(4), 1489-1504.
  6. Engvall K., Norrby C. and Norbäck D. (2001)., Sick building syndrome in relation to building dampness in multi-family residential buildings in Stockholm., International archives of occupational and environmental health, 74(4), 270-278.
  7. Norbäck D., Michel I. and Widström J. (1990)., Indoor air quality and personal factors related to the sick building syndrome., Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health, 16, 121-128.
  8. Gustafson T.L., Lavely G.B., Brawner E.R., Hutcheson R. H., Wright P.F. and Schaffner W. (1982)., An outbreak of airborne nosocomial varicella., Pediatrics, 70(4), 550-556.
  9. Kulshreshtha P. and Khare M. (2010)., A comparative study of indoor air pollution and its respiratory impacts in Delhi, India., WIT Trans. Ecol. Environ, 136, 287-296.
  10. Nahar M., Khan M.H. and Ahmad S.A. (2016)., Indoor Air Pollutants and Respiratory Problems among Dhaka City Dwellers., Arch Community Med Public Health, 2(1), 032-036. DOI: 10.17352/2455-5479.000014. Archives of Community Medicine and Public Health, 32.
  11. World Health Organization and Research for International Tobacco Control (2008)., WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, 2008: the MPOWER package., World Health Organization.
  12. El-Shazly A.A.E.F., Farweez Y.A.T., Elzankalony Y.A., Elewa L.S. and Farweez B.A.T. (2018)., Effect Of Smoking On Macular Function And Structure In Active Smokers Versus Passive Smokers., Retina, 38(5), 1031-1040.
  13. Desouky D.S., Elnemr G., Alnawawy A. and Taha A.A. (2016)., The relation between exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and the quantity of cotinine in the urine of school children in Taif City, Saudi Arabia., Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 17, 139-145.
  14. Yassin M.F. and Almouqatea S. (2010)., Assessment of airborne bacteria and fungi in an indoor and outdoor environment., International Journal of Environmental Science & Technology, 7(3), 535-544.
  15. Srikanth P., Sudharsanam S. and Steinberg R. (2008)., Bio-aerosols in indoor environment: composition, health effects and analysis., Indian journal of medical microbiology, 26(4), 302.
  16. Kembel S.W., Jones E., Kline J., Northcutt D., Stenson J., Womack A.M. and Green J.L. (2012)., Architectural design influences the diversity and structure of the built environment microbiome., The ISME journal, 6(8), 1469.
  17. Toivola M., Alm S., Reponen T., Kolari S. and Nevalainen A. (2002)., Personal exposures and microenvironmental concentrations of particles and bioaerosols., Journal of Environmental Monitoring, 4(1), 166-174.
  18. Mentese S., Arisoy M., Rad A.Y. and Güllü G. (2009)., Bacteria and fungi levels in various indoor and outdoor environments in Ankara, Turkey., Clean–Soil, Air, Water, 37(6), 487-493.
  19. Fung F. and Hughson W.G. (2003)., Health effects of indoor fungal bioaerosol exposure., Applied occupational and environmental hygiene, 18(7), 535-544.
  20. Ohnishi H., Yokoyama A., Hamada H. and Manabe S., Ito R., Watanabe A. and Higaki J. (2002)., Humidifier lung: possible contribution of endotoxin-induced lung injury., Internal medicine, 41(12), 1179-1182.
  21. Wallace L.A., Pellizzari E.D., Hartwell T.D., Davis V., Michael L.C. and Whitmore R.W. (1989)., The influence of personal activities on exposure to volatile organic compounds., Environmental Research, 50(1), 37-55.
  22. Norbäck D., Björnsson E., Janson C., Widström J. and Boman G. (1995)., Asthmatic symptoms and volatile organic compounds, formaldehyde, and carbon dioxide in dwellings., Occupational and environmental medicine, 52(6), 388-395.
  23. Brooks B.O., Utter G.M., DeBroy J.A. and Schimke R.D. (1991)., Indoor air pollution: an edifice complex., Journal of Toxicology: Clinical Toxicology, 29(3), 315-374.
  24. Liu X.P., Niu J.L., Kwok K.C., Wang J.H. and Li B.Z. (2010)., Investigation of indoor air pollutant dispersion and cross-contamination around a typical high-rise residential building: wind tunnel tests., Building and environment, 45(8), 1769-1778.
  25. Evans G.W. and McCoy J.M. (1998)., When buildings don′t work:The role of architecture in human health., Journal of Environmental psychology, 18(1), 85-94.
  26. Cao S.J. and Meyers J. (2015)., Fast prediction of indoor pollutant dispersion based on reduced-order ventilation models., Tsinghua University Press, Building Simulation, 8(4), 415-420.
  27. Colton M.D., MacNaughton P., Vallarino J., Kane J., Bennett-Fripp M., Spengler J.D. and Adamkiewicz G. (2014)., Indoor air quality in green vs conventional multifamily low-income housing., Environmental science & technology, 48(14), 7833-7841.
  28. Qian H., Li Y., Seto W.H., Ching P., Ching W.H. and Sun H.Q. (2010)., Natural ventilation for reducing airborne infection in hospitals., Building and Environment, 45(3), 559-565.
  29. Chartier Y. and Pessoa-Silva C.L. (2009)., Natural ventilation for infection control in health-care settings., World Health Organization.
  30. Rotton J. and White S.M. (1996)., Air pollution, the sick building syndrome, and social behavior., Environment international, 22(1), 53-60.
  31. Hagström K., Kosonen R., Heinonen J. and Laine T. (2000)., Economic value of high quality indoor air climate., In Proceedings of the Healthy Buildings, 1, 671.
  32. Nichol K.L., Lind A., Margolis K.L., Murdoch M., McFadden R., Hauge M. and Drake M. (1995)., The effectiveness of vaccination against influenza in healthy, working adults., New England Journal of Medicine, 333(14), 889-893.
  33. Bendrick G.A. (1998)., Seasonal variation of grounding rates among B-52H aircrew., Military medicine, 163(10), 692-694.
  34. Feeney A., North F., Head J., Canner R. and Marmot M. (1998)., Socioeconomic and sex differentials in reason for sickness absence from the Whitehall II Study., Occupational and environmental medicine, 55(2), 91-98.
  35. Knave B., Paulsson H., Floderus B., Gronkvist L., Haggstrom T., Jungeteg G. and Wennberg A. (1991)., Incidence of work-related disorders and absenteeism as tools in the implementation of work environment improvements: the Sweden Post strategy., Ergonomics, 34(6), 841-848.
  36. Teculescu D.B., Sauleau E.A., Massin N., Bohadana A.B., Buhler O., Benamghar L. and Mur J.M. (1998)., Sick-building symptoms in office workers in northeastern France: a pilot study., International archives of occupational and environmental health, 71(5), 353-356.
  37. Mentese S., Rad A.Y., Arısoy M. and Güllü G. (2012)., Multiple comparisons of organic, microbial, and fine particulate pollutants in typical indoor environments: diurnal and seasonal variations., Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association, 62(12), 1380-1393.
  38. Berglund B., Brunekreef B., Knöppe H., Lindvall T., Maroni M., Mølhave L. and Skov P. (1992)., Effects of indoor air pollution on human health., Indoor Air, 2(1), 2-25.
  39. Wallace L.A., Nelson C.J., Highsmith R. and Dunteman G. (1993)., Association of personal and workplace characteristics with health, comfort and odor: a survey of 3948 office workers in three buildings., Indoor Air, 3(3), 193-205.
  40. Clausen P.A., Wilkins C.K., Wolkoff P. and Nielsen G.D. (2001)., Chemical and biological evaluation of a reaction mixture of R-(+)-limonene/ozone: formation of strong airway irritants., Environment International, 26(7-8), 511-522.
  41. Nazaroff W.W. and Weschler C.J. (2004)., Cleaning products and air fresheners: exposure to primary and secondary air pollutants., Atmospheric Environment, 38(18), 2841-2865.
  42. Cattaneo A., Peruzzo C., Garramone G., Urso P., Ruggeri R., Carrer P. and Cavallo D.M. (2011)., Airborne particulate matter and gaseous air pollutants in residential structures in Lodi province, Italy., Indoor Air, 21(6), 489-500.
  43. Kulshreshtha P. and Khare M. (2011)., Indoor exploratory analysis of gaseous pollutants and respirable particulate matter at residential homes of Delhi, India., Atmospheric Pollution Research, 2(3), 337-350.
  44. Norhidayah A., Chia-Kuang L., Azhar M.K. and Nurulwahida S. (2013)., Indoor air quality and sick building syndrome in three selected buildings., Procedia Engineering, 53, 93-98.
  45. Mentese S. and Tasdibi D. (2017)., Assessment of residential exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2)., Global Nest Journal, 19(4), 726-732.
  46. Canha N., Lage J., Candeias S., Alves C. and Almeida S. M. (2017)., Indoor air quality during sleep under different ventilation patterns., Atmospheric Pollution Research, 8(6), 1132-1142.
  47. Tham K.W. (2016)., Indoor air quality and its effects on humans—A review of challenges and developments in the last 30 years., Energy and Buildings, 130, 637-650.
  48. Rashid M. and Zimring C. (2008)., A review of the empirical literature on the relationships between indoor environment and stress in health care and office settings: Problems and prospects of sharing evidence., Environment and Behavior, 40(2), 151-190.