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Indoor Air Pollutant Exposure for Life Cycle Assessment: Regional Health Impact Factors for Households

Ralph K. Rosenbaum, Arjen Meijer, Evangelia Demou, Stefanie Hellweg, Olivier Jolliet, Nicholas L. Lam, Manuele Margni, Thomas E. McKone

Article (2015)

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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 2 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.

Uncontrolled Keywords

Air Pollutants; Air Pollution, Indoor; Cooking; Environment; Environmental Exposure; Humans; Models, Theoretical; Volatile Organic Compounds; Air Pollutants; Volatile Organic Compounds

Subjects: 1600 Industrial engineering > 1600 Industrial engineering
2950 Applied mathematics > 2950 Applied mathematics
9000 Health sciences > 9000 Health sciences
Department: Department of Mathematics and Industrial Engineering
Research Center: CIRAIG - International Reference Centre for the Life Cycle of Products, Processes and Services
Funders: UNEP/ SETAC Life Cycle Initiative, TOX-TRAIN, Chaire industrielle en évaluation de la durabilité du cycle de vie (ELSA-PACT), SUEZ, BRL, SCP, UCCOAR-Val d’Orbieu, EVEA, ANR, Irstea, Montpellier SupAgro, Ecole des Mines d’Alès, CIRAD, ONEMA, ADEME, Region Languedoc-Roussillon, Medical Research Council
Grant number: 285286, FP7-PEOPLE-IAPP, MC/PC/13027
PolyPublie URL: https://publications.polymtl.ca/3468/
Journal Title: Environmental Science & Technology (vol. 49, no. 21)
Publisher: ACS Publications
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b00890
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.5b00890
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2019 14:43
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2022 15:42
Cite in APA 7: Rosenbaum, R. K., Meijer, A., Demou, E., Hellweg, S., Jolliet, O., Lam, N. L., Margni, M., & McKone, T. E. (2015). Indoor Air Pollutant Exposure for Life Cycle Assessment: Regional Health Impact Factors for Households. Environmental Science & Technology, 49(21), 12823-12831. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.5b00890


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