Assessment of Indoor Air Quality in Inpatient Wards
Introduction. The Indoor Air Quality is a topic that in recent years is obtaining great attention in healthcare facilities. Several studies are reporting a growing number of data and research works that allow to know all the possible indoor levels and the development of management procedures (such as materials’ choice, products for cleaning and disinfection, improvement of HVAC system, etc.) in order to improve the healing environments and health of medical and technical staffs, patients, ambulatory users and visitors. Ensuring a good IAQ in hospitals is fundamentally because there are the most vulnerable category of the population for their health conditions; although the assessment of IAQ results arduous.
State of the Art. Currently in several countries are carried out air quality monitoring in those professional workplaces in which chemicals are used (i.e. operating rooms, sterilization, anticancer preparation, etc.), but also in some typically indoor spaces for the building hygiene evaluations. Therefore it determinated the definition and adoption of limits (occupational exposure limit values, threshold limit value of the Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limits-VLEP or American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists-TLV to be used exclusively in workplaces) or values and guidelines (such as in the case of indoor assessments, in particular the WHO’ indoor air quality guidelines).
Methodology. Starting from these considerations, Istituto Superiore di Sanità and Politecnico di Milano have launched a research work for the evaluation and detection of air quality in inpatients rooms. The survey is examining formaldehyde and VOCs, and the relative influence of thermo-hygrometric, ventilation and concentration of pollutants’ parameters.
Discussion. This paper reports the results obtained from the indoor air monitoring in inpatient rooms. Each survey, done every month, lasted between 5 and 7 days in relation to the real function use of the rooms.
Conclusion. The analysis is continuing on the inpatient rooms for controlling the indoor air values even in summer season, and, in parallel, it is expanding to more health facilities in Lombardy and Latium regions.
KeywordsHealthcare facilities VOCs Acetaldehyde, formaldehyde, benzene and toluene sampling Guidelines value Preliminary investigation
The authors and detectors thank the chief medical officers of the hospitals analyzed and all the medical staff involved in fill in the activity logs.
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