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Take a deep breath? Investigating indoor air pollution

New studies are uncovering how emissions from daily household activities pollute the air we breathe at home.

Ages: 11-14, 14-16, 16-19

Date Published: October 25, 2019

Publication: Science in School: The European journal for science teachers

Author: Nicola Carslaw, Nina Notman

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Cleaning with bleach could create indoor air pollutants

Bleach cleaning products emit chlorine-containing compounds, such as hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and chlorine gas (Cl2), that can accumulate to relatively high levels in poorly ventilated indoor environments.

Date Published: October 2, 2019

Publication: EurekAlert!


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Mixing bleach and citrus cleaners may be harmful to you and your pets

By themselves, limonenes aren’t toxic. But when they come into contact with light or air, they can oxidize and become irritating to eyes and skin… Researchers from the University of Toronto and Bucknell University in Pennsylvania decided to see what might happen when limonene and bleach fumes, at concentrations likely to occur in indoor environments, were combined.

Date Published: October 2, 2019

Publication: CNN

Author: Sandee LaMotte

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Environmental scientists express concern about indoor air pollution

When chemicals are emitted indoors, their concentration levels are much higher than outdoor levels, she said. She suspects there are more chemicals in indoor air than what is currently known, noting that an Environmental Protection Agency database lists more than 75,000 chemicals in 15,000 consumer products, most of which don’t have toxicology or exposure data.

Date Published: September 18, 2019

Publication: The Washington Times

Author: Shen Wu Tan

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Indoor air pollution: the invisible adversary

For the HOMEChem project, researchers deployed sensors and air quality monitors to make observations on change in air quality during regular activities such as cooking.

Date Published: September 6, 2019

Publication: LiveMint

Author: Nitin Sreedhar

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Pig-Pen effect: Mixing skin oil and ozone can produce a personal pollution cloud

When ozone and skin oils meet, the resulting reaction may help remove ozone from an indoor environment, but it can also produce a personal cloud of pollutants that affects indoor air quality, according to a team of researchers.

Date Published: August 24, 2019

Publication: EurekAlert!

Author: Matt Swayne

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An air of sweat and a fang-tastic meal

In an art museum, it’s what’s on the walls that counts. But what if what’s on the walls includes stuff like sweat by-products and nail polish remover? Lactic acid and acetone were some of the compounds that a group of air-quality researchers tracked floating around a Colorado art museum. Good air is important in the effort to preserve art, but some chemicals are just a little “stickier” than others, says Demetrios Pagonis, one of the chemists at the University of Colorado Boulder who led the study

Date Published: June 15, 2019

Publication: Chemical and Engineering News

Author: Megha Satyanarayana

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Clothing impacts indoor air quality: a collaborative modeling study

Indoor air chemistry is different to outdoor air chemistry as follows; (1) sources of indoor pollutants include outdoor-to-indoor transport but daily activities such as cooking and cleaning are also important (2) chemical species are trapped in a relatively small space and transported outdoors at the air-exchange rate, (3) photochemistry is reduced and (4) a high surface area indoors which includes walls, carpets, furniture and people makes heterogeneous chemistry especially important.

Date Published: May 17, 2019

Publication: Nature Research

Author: Pascale Lakey

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Studies show how homes can pollute indoor air

Americans spend roughly 90 percent of their time indoors, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency notes. During that time, people cook. They clean. They chat, read, play, watch TV and do other things. People also bathe and sleep. And throughout it all, they breathe. New studies find that our activities can pollute the air we breathe indoors. And some of those compounds may harm our health. Scientists and engineers shared some of their new findings, here, at the annual meeting for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, on February 17.

Date Published: May 13, 2019

Publication: Science News for Students

Author: Kathiann Kowalski

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