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Carbon monoxide (CO) and particulate matter (PM2.5) were measured in two reconstructed Danish farmhouses (17-19th century) during two weeks of summer. During the first week intensive measurements were performed while test cooking fires were burned, during the second week the houses were monitored while occupied by guest families. A masonry hearth was located in the middle of each house for open cooking fires and with heating stoves. One house had a chimney leading to the outside over the hearth; in the other, a brickwork hood led the smoke into an attic and through holes in the roof. During the first week the concentration Of PM2.5 averaged daily between 138 and 1650 mu g m(-3) inside the hearths and 21-160 mu g m(-3) in adjacent living rooms. CO averaged daily between 0.21 and 1.9 ppm in living areas, and up to 12 ppm in the hearths. Highest concentrations were measured when two fires were lit at the same time, which would cause high personal exposure for someone working in the kitchens. 15 min averages of up to 25 400 mu g m(-3) (PM2.5) and 260 ppm CO were recorded. WHO air quality guidelines were occasionally exceeded for CO and constantly for PM2.5. However, air exchange and air distribution measurements revealed a large draw in the chimney, which ensured a fast removal of wood smoke from the hearth area. The guest families were in average exposed to no more than 0.21 ppm CO during 48 h. Based on a hypothetical time-activity pattern, however, a woman living in this type of house during the 17-19th century would be exposed to daily averages of 1.1 ppm CO and 196 mu g m(-3) PM2.5, which exceeds WHO guideline for PM2.5, and is comparable to what is today observed for women in rural areas of developing countries.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)735-744
StatePublished - 2010
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 5


  • Historic house, Cooking fire, PM2.5, Wood smoke, Personal exposures
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ID: 5451554