Human ammonia emission rates under various indoor environmental conditions

Mengze Li, Charles J. Weschler*, Gabriel Bekö, Pawel Wargocki, Gregor Lucic

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    Ammonia (NH3) is typically measured at mixing ratios of 50 parts per trillion (ppt) to 5 parts per billion (ppb) in outside air, while its mixing ratios are approximately an order of magnitude larger indoors. In both outdoor and indoor environments, NH3 is the dominant basic species. High NH3 concentrations (> 25 ppm) are associated with adverse health effects.
    Considering that humans spend more than 90% of their life in indoor environments, coupled with the strong impact that NH3 has on indoor acid-base processes (Nazaroff and Weschler, 2020), it is important to determine the rates and predominant driving factors for indoor NH3 emissions from humans beings which are potent mobile sources. In this study, we have assessed human NH3 emission rates (from whole body, from skin, from breath) as a function of temperature, clothing (skin coverage), age, relative humidity and ozone levels. Real-time measurements were made with five groups each consisting of four healthy individuals, housed within a controlled climate chamber, using a cavity ringdown spectrometer. This study is part of the Indoor Chemical Human Emissions and Reactivity (ICHEAR) project.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication16th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate (INDOOR AIR 2020) : Proceedings of a meeting held 1 November 2020, Online.
    PublisherInternational Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate
    Publication date2020
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7138-2360-5
    Publication statusPublished - 2020
    Event 16th Conference of the International Society of Indoor Air Quality & Climate - Online
    Duration: 1 Nov 20204 Nov 2020
    Conference number: 16


    Conference 16th Conference of the International Society of Indoor Air Quality & Climate

    Bibliographical note

    Paper ID ABS-0086


    • Breath
    • Dermal
    • Indoor exposure
    • Acid-base chemistry
    • Exposed skin


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