Human responses to carbon dioxide, a follow-up study at recommended exposure limits in non-industrial environments

Research output: Research - peer-reviewJournal article – Annual report year: 2016



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To extend the results of a previous study on the effects of carbon dioxide (CO2) and bioeffluents on humans, the new study reported in this paper was carried out. The purpose of this study was to examine, whether exposure to CO2 at 5000 ppm would cause sensory discomfort, evoke acute health symptoms, reduce the performance of cognitive tasks, or result in changes in physiological responses. The outdoor air supply rate was set high enough in a low-emission stainless-steel climate chamber to create a reference condition with CO2 at 500 ppm when subjects were present, and chemically pure CO2 was added to the supply air to create an exposure condition with CO2 at 5000 ppm (the measured exposure level was ca. 4900 ppm). Ten healthy college-age students were exposed twice to each of the two conditions for 2.5 h in a design balanced for order of presentation. The raised CO2 concentration had no effect on perceived air quality or physiological responses except for end-tidal CO2 (ETCO2), which increased more (to 5.3 kPa) than it was in the reference condition (5.1 kPa). Other results indicate additionally that a 2.5-h exposure to CO2 up to 5000 ppm did not increase intensity of health symptoms reported by healthy young individuals and their performance of simple or moderately difficult cognitive tests and some tasks resembling office work. These results accord well with the current occupational exposure limit recommendation for CO2 and with many other reports published in the literature.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBuilding and Environment
Pages (from-to)162-171
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2016
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: No match on DOI

    Research areas

  • Acute health symptoms, Carbon dioxide, Cognitive performance, Perceived air quality, Physiological responses
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