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ASHRAE Studies Impact of Ventilation on Health
Mar 28, 2006
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The impact of ventilation rates on occupant health is being studied through ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers) research. Results may be used to update ASHRAE Standard 62.1, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality, and Standard 62.2-2004, Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings.

"The study will lead to an improved understanding of what science can tell us about the relationship between ventilation and health, which in turn will lead to more reliable information on the benefits of building ventilation," said lead researcher, Jan Sundell, Danish Technical University, Copenhagen, Denmark. "It also will give information about where there is a lack of knowledge, providing the basis for new research.”

He noted that ASHRAE’s ventilation standards primarily focus on occupant perception of indoor air quality, not health.

A panel of leading authorities on indoor air pollution and health within medicine and engineering will review existing research and literature on the effect of ventilation on health. While the focus will be on ventilation rates, they also will look at pollutant sources, source strength and pollutant concentrations.

The project, Scientific Review of Existing Information Related to the Impact of Ventilation Related to Health, 1443-RP, was approved at ASHRAE’s 2006 Winter Meeting. It is expected to take 18 months to complete at a cost of U.S. $50,000 with funding coming from ASHRAE and the National Center for Energy Management and Building Technologies.

The project is sponsored by the Environmental Health Committee. Researchers are Sundell and Hal Levin, Indoor Air Institute, Santa Cruz, California, U.S.

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