Effects of Exposure to Carbon Dioxide and Bioeffluents on Perceived Air Quality, Self-assessed Acute Health Symptoms and Cognitive Performance

Xiaojing Zhang, Pawel Wargocki, Zhiwei Lian, Camilla Thyregod

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects on humans of exposure to carbon dioxide (CO2) and bioeffluents. In three of the five exposures, the outdoor air supply rate was high enough to remove bioeffluents, resulting in a CO2 level of 500 ppm. Chemically pure CO2 was added to this reference condition to create exposure conditions with CO2 at 1,000 ppm or 3,000 ppm. In two further conditions, the outdoor air supply rate was restricted so that the bioeffluent CO2 reached 1,000 ppm or 3,000 ppm. The same twenty-five subjects were exposed for 255 minutes to each condition. Subjective ratings, physiological responses and cognitive performance were measured. No statistically significant effects on perceived air quality, acute health symptoms or cognitive performance were seen during exposures when CO2 was added. Exposures to bioeffluents with CO2 at 3,000 ppm reduced perceived air quality, increased the intensity of reported headache, fatigue, sleepiness and difficulty in thinking clearly, and reduced speed of addition, the response time in a redirection task and the number of correct links made in the cue-utilisation test. This suggests that moderate concentrations of bioeffluents, but not pure CO2, will result in deleterious effects on occupants during typical indoor exposures.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIndoor Air
Volume27
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)47-64
ISSN0905-6947
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Carbon dioxide
  • Human bioeffluents
  • Acute health symptoms
  • Perceived air quality
  • Cognitive performance
  • Subjective responses

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