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What you wear affects what you breathe

By Dusan Licina (EPFL – École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne,@licinadusan), Glenn Morison (University of North Carolina, @gcmorr), Gabriel Bekö (Denmark Technical University) Charles Weschler (Denmark Technical University and Rutgers University,@CJWeschler) and William Nazaroff (University of California Berkeley)     Take a couple of seconds to think about how much time we spend every day wearing […]

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Total observed organic carbon indoors

Derek found that the total organic carbon concentration was impressively large, three times higher than what you’d find in a typical American city and ten times higher than clean ocean air. He also found that the compounds in the museum were significantly fresher – less oxidized – than those in outdoor air.

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An artist who makes clouds. Indoors!

Mr. Smilde’ art is short-lived, just like many oxidants and volatile organic compounds indoors. It can last a few seconds, and then the cloud is gone. He may need to make hundreds of clouds for one photo finish, just like chemists make hundreds (thousands?) of measurements for one manuscript. Indeed, Mr. Smilde’s visual art work resembles a scientific experiment.

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New particle formation in the indoor environment

The presence of particles suspended in air is associated with negative health effects, including respiratory and cardiovascular issues. While some particles are emitted directly to the air from a source, such as from combustion, formation of new particles through atmospheric chemical reactions is less obvious to the casual citizen.

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3D printers and air pollution

Breathing in these large amounts of very small particles may lead to effects in our respiratory system. These particles are so small that they can cross over to the blood stream and reach other organs.

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Why is indoor air chemistry important?

If you’re like the typical human, you likely spend about 90% of your time inside. Our homes, businesses, exercise facilities, cars, and gathering places are all examples of indoor environments where we’re constantly breathing the air. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the chemistry occurring in these spaces and what it means to our health and well-being.

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