NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Measuring carbon dioxide levels as an indicator of poor building ventilation: a case study.
Managing Indoor Air for Health and Energy Conservation. Proceedings of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. Conference, April 20-23, 1986, Atlanta, Georgia 1986:78-82
NIOSH investigators, acting on building related complaints made by workers employed in a three story building in Birmingham, Alabama, carried out a health hazard evaluation based on interviews and self administered questionnaires. Interviews with the building maintenance personnel and air conditioning engineer revealed that, in order to cut down utility costs, the building had not been provided with outside makeup air ducts on the air conditioning system. Direct reading measurements revealed that by midafternoon the levels of carbon-dioxide (124389) (CO2) in the indoor air were as much as ten times outdoor levels, up to 3000 parts per million (ppm), with levels generally increasing during the workday. Evaluation of self administered questionnaires completed by the 85 employees working in the building revealed that 69 of them reported building related health complaints, especially eye irritation, sinus congestion, headache, sneezing, and nose and throat irritation. The frequency of complaints was 67 percent among employees working on the first floor where the concentration of CO2 in the air ranged from 900 to 1060ppm, 92 percent among employees working on the second floor where levels of CO2 in the air ranged from 1000 to 3000ppm, and 80 percent among the employees working on the third floor where levels of CO2 in the air ranged from 2000 to 2300ppm. Recommendations are made for compliance with the prevailing standards by installing a ventilation system capable of delivering at least 20 cubic feet of air per minute per person.
Air-contamination; Toxicology; Toxic-gases; Ventilation-systems; Office-workers; Air-quality-measurement; Health-surveys; Exhaust-ventilation; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Exposure-limits
Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; Disease and Injury; Pulmonary-system-disorders
Managing Indoor Air for Health and Energy Conservation. Proceedings of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. Conference, April 20-23, 1986, Atlanta, Georgia
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division