Indoor Air Quality in Healing Environments: Impacts of Physical, Chemical, and Biological Environmental Factors on Users

  • Stefano CapolongoEmail author
  • Gaetano Settimo
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Public Health book series (BRIEFSPUBLIC)


Starting from the definition of confined spaces, the paper examines the indoor air quality in healing environments that must be promoters of health and well-being for all the users. In fact, as several authors stated, the main factors of air pollution are bacteria, substances used for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes, odors generated by cleaning and maintenance products, disinfectants, heating systems, ventilation and air-conditioning, building materials, furniture and finishing, as well as the outdoor environment. Moreover, hospitals incorporate a variety of risks that can be divided into physical risks that determinate alteration of well-being or thermal discomfort of users, caused by inadequate microclimatic parameters; chemical risks caused by the contaminations of toxic, harmful, or carcinogenic substances; and biological risks caused by contamination of qualitatively and/or quantitatively inadequate microorganisms. According to the different risks that may occur in a healthcare facility, the paper examines also the role of management and risk assessment on these issues, analyzing the people involved and responsibilities that hospital managers must fulfill to ensure health quality and safety.


Indoor air quality Healthcare facilities Physical risks Biological risks Chemical risks 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Architecture, Built Environment and Construction EngineeringPolitecnico di MilanoMilanItaly
  2. 2.Department of Environment and HealthIstituto Superiore di SanitàRomeItaly

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