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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10400.18/796

Title: Air Quality in a children Day Care Centres - Pilot Study
Authors: Cano, M.
Aguiar, F.
Almeida, G.
Proença, C.
Keywords: Indoor Air Quality
Children Day Care Center
Respiratory Diseases
Avaliação de Risco
Ar e Saúde Ocupacional
Issue Date: Oct-2011
Publisher: Instituto Nacional de Saúde Doutor Ricardo Jorge, IP
Abstract: The negative impact of a poor indoor air quality in children’s health is well recognized and the establishment of a relation between air quality, ventilation and children’s health is crucial to correct the actual situation. Levels of carbon dioxide usually exceed recommended values and are often associated with the raise of many other indoor pollutants accumulated in consequence of poor ventilation rates. This paper describes field measurements of chemical and biological indoor contaminants in order to investigate indoor air quality in a children day care center (CDCC). Objective The aim of this pilot study was to point out the need for indoor air quality investigations in CDCC in order to control ventilation rates and prevent children respiratory diseases. Material and Methods The monitoring tasks were carried out in a CDCC in Lisbon with the evaluation of suspended particulate matter, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, total volatile organic compounds (TVOC’s), bacteria and fungi. Relevant measurements of chemical and biological parameters were also conducted outdoors. The studied CDCC had mixed ventilation with extraction in toilets and openable windows. Carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and TVOC’s were monitored using a Photoacoustic Multigas Monitor Type 1312, INNOVA, Air Tech Instruments. Particulate matter was collected by active sampling into PVC filters using pumps operating at 2 L/min airflow, followed by gravimetric analysis. Samples of viable microorganisms were collected using the MAS-100 sampler with Malt Extract Agar (MEA) plates supplemented with chloranphenicol, Trypticase Soy Agar (TSA) and MacConkey agar as collecting media for fungi, total bacteria and gram-negative bacteria respectively. Field campaign was conducted in March 2008, during routine school activities (10:00-17:00). Results TVOC’s concentrations exceed recommended limits in one of the ten studied rooms, being also one of the rooms with CO2 concentration above the recommended value (2200 mg/m3). CO concentrations ranged from 0,064 mg/m3 to 0,361 mg/m3 never exceeding 12,5 mg/m3. The mean CO2 concentration indoors exceeds 1800 mg/m3 in 7 of the 10 studied rooms, with a maximum concentration of 3750 mg/m3, a minimum of 1630 mg/m3 and an outdoor level of 773 mg/m3. The results obtained show a relation between CO2 and bacterial concentrations, being also observed a predominance of gram-positive bacteria. Fungal spore concentrations ranged from 116 to 476 ufc/m3 and the outdoor level (582 ufc/m3) was never exceeded. The maximum total suspended particulate matter concentration obtained was 0,162 mg/m3 with an outdoor level of 0,062 mg/m3, the minimum level was obtained in the nursery (0,051 mg/m3). Conclusion This pilot study provides evidence that ventilation in the monitored CDCC is clearly insufficient to maintain an acceptable indoor air quality. Being the human occupancy the major source of CO2 and bacteria, it is possible to predict the accumulation of other infectious agents, such as human origin viruses and also of chemical contaminants from indoor sources, as a consequence of poor ventilation. These results are in accordance with previous studies that report an increased risk of infectious diseases of children attending day care centers compared with those cared for at home. Further research is needed with an enlarged number of CDCC in order to develop guidelines to create healthy environments for children.
Peer Reviewed: no
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10400.18/796
Appears in Collections:DSA - Posters/abstracts em congressos internacionais

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