Effects of Legal Regulation on Indoor Air Quality in Facilities for Sensitive Populations – A Field Study in Seoul, Korea

Jinho Yang, Ji Hoon Seo, Na Na Jeong, Jong Ryeul Sohn

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Abstract

Facilities for sensitive populations have increased in Korea; and its indoor air quality (IAQ) was strictly regulated by the Korean government compared to other facilities. However, merely public facilities on certain level of total floor area were lawfully regulated. This study aims to characterize the indoor environment at facilities for sensitive populations in Korea and investigate the effects of legal regulation on IAQ throughout the duration of 1 year. Sixty facilities for sensitive populations were investigated. Particulate matter (PM10), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), total bacteria count (TBC), total volatile organic compound (TVOC), formaldehyde (HCHO), radon (Rn), ozone (O3), asbestos, fine particulate matter (PM2.5), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were target pollutants. As a result, none of the rooms’ concentration of CO, NO2, O3, Rn, asbestos, and VOCs exceeded the Korean Standard of Indoor Air Quality, while some rooms’ concentration of other pollutants exceeded the KSIAQ. Statutory facilities had lower indoor pollutant concentrations and exceedance rates due to efficient ventilation system and the lack of kitchen location within the building, as opposed to non-statutory facilities. In addition, the VOCs had significant differences depending on the number of years it took for the building to be constructed. To reduce the indoor pollutants concentrations, efficient ventilation systems should be installed while controlling the main sources of pollutants. In addition, construction and remodeling using eco-friendly materials should be considered. The standards of IAQ for small size facilities should be included in the KSIAQ in the future.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Management
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1

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Keywords

  • Indoor air quality
  • Legal regulation
  • Sensitive population
  • Seoul
  • Statutory facility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Pollution

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