Indoor air pollution: A trigger of indoor occupants’ psychiatric symptoms

Indoor Air Cartoon Journal, August 2018, Volume 1, #21

The number of people suffering from mental health problem all over the world is increasing.  This has led to an increase in the population of building occupants suffering from a mental health problem. Uncontrolled anxiety – agitation – and mood swing are one of the psychiatric symptoms exhibited by people suffering from a mental health problem. These psychiatric symptoms can be triggered by environmental stimuli. Smell is one of the environmental stimuli. Indoor air pollution causes unpleasant perceived indoor air quality (IAQ) – bad smell. Evidence in the literature suggests that unacceptable perceived IAQ could trigger agitation and mood swing. The continuous trigger of these psychiatric symptoms in people suffering from mental health problems will compromise their recovery. Unfortunately, IAQ is not receiving the attention it deserves in most green building ratings.

Policy makers and built environment professionals responsible for delivering energy efficient and healthy indoor environment should make efforts to reduce indoor air pollution in buildings. Even if buildings were designed, constructed, maintained and operated to ensure healthy IAQ, building occupants’ behaviour may compromise the intended healthy IAQ. Innovative and creative building delivery solution should make it easier and convenient for building occupants to exhibit behaviours that would not pollute indoor air. How should this be done in an economical and environmentally friendly way?

Psychiatric_IAC 21

Do you want to know more about this topic? Read Lundberg (1996) and Oudin et al. (2016).


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