Ozone's impact on public health: Contributions from indoor exposures to ozone and products of ozone-initiated chemistry

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The associations between ozone concentrations measured outdoors and both morbidity and mortality may be partially due to indoor exposures to ozone and ozone-initiated oxidation products. In this article I examine the contributions of such indoor exposures to overall ozone-related health effects by extensive review of the literature as well as further analyses of published data. FINDINGS: Daily inhalation intakes of indoor ozone (micrograms per day) are estimated to be between 25 and 60% of total daily ozone intake. This is especially noteworthy in light of recent work indicating little, if any, threshold for ozone's impact on mortality. Additionally, the present study estimates that average daily indoor intakes of ozone oxidation products are roughly one-third to twice the indoor inhalation intake of ozone alone. Some of these oxidation products are known or suspected to adversely affect human health (e.g., formaldehyde, acrolein, hydro-peroxides, fine and ultrafine particles). Indirect evidence supports connections between morbidity/mortality and exposures to indoor ozone and its oxidation products. For example, cities with stronger associations between outdoor ozone and mortality tend to have residences that are older and less likely to have central air conditioning, which implies greater transport of ozone from outdoors to indoors. CONCLUSIONS: Indoor exposures to ozone and its oxidation products can be reduced by filtering ozone from ventilation air and limiting the indoor use of products and materials whose emissions react with ozone. Such steps might be especially valuable in schools, hospitals, and childcare centers in regions that routinely experience elevated outdoor ozone concentrations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Volume114
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1489-1496
ISSN0091-6765
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Keywords

  • aldehydes
  • secondary organic aerosols
  • air exchange rates
  • surface chemistry
  • indoor chemistry
  • mortality
  • inhalation intake
  • ultrafine particles
  • morbidity

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