The relevance of particle mass, surface area or number concentration as risk indicators for health effects in non-industrial buildings has been assessed by a European interdisciplinary group of researchers (called EUROPART) by reviewing papers identified in Medline, Toxline, and OSH. Studies dealing with dermal effects or cancer or specifically addressing environmental tobacco smoke, house dust-mite, cockroach or animal allergens, microorganisms and pesticides were excluded. A total of 70 papers were reviewed, and eight were identified for the final review: Five experimental studies involving mainly healthy subjects, two cross-sectional office studies and one longitudinal study among elderly on cardiovascular effects. From most studies, no definite conclusions could be drawn. Overall, the group concluded that there is inadequate scientific evidence that airborne, indoor particulate mass or number concentrations can be used as generally applicable risk indicators of health effects in non-industrial buildings and consequently that there is inadequate scientific evidence for establishing limit values or guidelines for particulate mass or number concentrations.
|Published - 2003