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A case of indoor air pollution of ammonia emitted from concrete in a newly built office in Beijing
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. (Eva Vïngård)
2009 (English)In: Building and Environment, ISSN 0360-1323, E-ISSN 1873-684X, Vol. 45, no 3, 596-600 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A case of suspected indoor ammonia contamination from concrete was   investigated in an airline company office in Beijing. A standardized   questionnaire on indoor environment perceptions, medical symptoms and   psychosocial work environment was distributed to all staff and compared   with a reference group of office workers from the same company in   Stockholm. Temperature, relative humidity, formaldehyde, volatile   organic compounds (VOC), ammonia, and carbon dioxide were measured both   in Beijing and Stockholm. In Beijing mould and bacteria were also   measured. Totally 95% (N = 14) participated. The Beijing staff reported   a higher rate of complaints regarding poor work satisfaction, and work   stress as compared to the Stockholm reference group. In the total   material (N = 203) the psychosocial environment was related to general   symptoms (headache and tiredness) but not odour perception or mucous   membrane symptoms. Controlling for age, smoking habits, and   psychosocial work environment the Beijing staff had more complaints on   unpleasant odour and mucous membrane symptoms. An increased indoor   concentration of ammonia (3-6 ppm) and benzene (26.8 mu g/m(3)) was   measured in the indoor air in the Beijing office, as compared to the   office in Stockholm (<0.1 ppm ammonia and 0.4 mu g/m(3) benzene). The   ammonia contamination in the Beijing office was confirmed, the probable   source being additives in the concrete. The ammonia level was well   below the Swedish threshold limit values (TLV) (25 ppm). In addition   the exposure to benzene, an indicator of traffic exhaust pollution was   high both indoors and outdoors in Beijing, possible related to   increased levels of odour complaints and mucous membrane irritation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 45, no 3, 596-600 p.
Keyword [en]
Ammonia, Indoor environment, Volatile organic compounds (VOC) concrete, Questionnaire study, Sick building syndrome (SBS)
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-126297DOI: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2009.07.014ISI: 000272307700009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-126297DiVA: diva2:322838
Available from: 2010-06-08 Created: 2010-06-08 Last updated: 2010-06-23Bibliographically approved

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