Indoor air pollutant exposure for life cycle assessment: regional health impact factors for households

Rosenbaum, R. K., Meijer, A., Demou, E. , Hellweg, S., Jolliet, O., Lam, N. L., Margni, M. and McKone, T. E. (2015) Indoor air pollutant exposure for life cycle assessment: regional health impact factors for households. Environmental Science and Technology, 49(21), pp. 12823-12831. (doi:10.1021/acs.est.5b00890) (PMID:26444519)

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Abstract

Human exposure to indoor pollutant concentrations is receiving increasing interest in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). We address this issue by incorporating an indoor compartment into the USEtox model, as well as by providing recommended parameter values for households in four different regions of the world differing geographically, economically, and socially. With these parameter values, intake fractions and comparative toxicity potentials for indoor emissions of dwellings for different air tightness levels were calculated. The resulting intake fractions for indoor exposure vary by two orders of magnitude, due to the variability of ventilation rate, building occupation and volume. To compare health impacts as a result of indoor exposure with those from outdoor exposure, the indoor exposure characterization factors determined with the modified USEtox model were applied in a case study on cooking in non-OECD countries. This study demonstrates the appropriateness and significance of integrating indoor environments into LCA, which ensures a more holistic account of all exposure environments and allows for a better accountability of health impacts. The model, intake fractions, and characterization factors are made available for use in standard LCA studies via www.usetox.org and in standard LCA software.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Demou, Dr Evangelia
Authors: Rosenbaum, R. K., Meijer, A., Demou, E., Hellweg, S., Jolliet, O., Lam, N. L., Margni, M., and McKone, T. E.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO Unit
Journal Name:Environmental Science and Technology
Publisher:American Chemical Society
ISSN:0013-936X
ISSN (Online):1520-5851
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 American Chemical Society
First Published:First published in Environmental Science & Technology 49(21): 12823-12831
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
620221MRC SPHSU/GU Transfer FellowshipsLaurence MooreMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_PC_13027IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
727641SPHSU Core Renewal: Setting and Health Improvement Research ProgrammeKathryn HuntMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/12IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU