Indoor Air Cartoon Journal, March 2019, Volume 2, #52
The use of the term healthy indoor air is prevalent. But what does healthy indoor air mean? Understanding the meaning of healthy indoor air will provide the right direction for research activities and industry practices. I searched for the definition in the literature but could not find one. Thus, I attempted to define it myself. I decided to provide a philosophical kind of meaning to ensure a better understanding of the healthy indoor air concept.
The philosophical definition requires knowledge of conditions that are individually necessary and jointly sufficient for the term to be defined. The requirements listed in the cartoon illustration led to my definition. I defined healthy indoor air as an ideal situation when indoor air does not have any pollutant at a concentration or climatic condition that will cause illness, discomfort, injury, or death to any human, animal, or plant in the indoor environment, irrespective of their physiological or psychological condition, during, soon or long after exposure for any exposure duration.
So, considering this definition, how adequate are the current indoor air quality (IAQ) management and audit practices. How relevant are IAQ standards towards the achievement of healthy indoor air? What can be done to ensure continuous improvement required to move closer towards the ideal condition – healthy indoor air? What are the challenges towards the achievement of healthy indoor air? How can consideration for other building performance mandates – thermal, acoustic, visual, spatial, and building integrity, e.g., fire and structural safety, energy and water conservation, etc., makes it challenging to achieve healthy indoor air? How is acceptable indoor air different from healthy indoor air? I have attempted to define healthy indoor air. How would you define the term? What conditions would you use for your definition?
Are you interested to better understand the conditions I used for my definition? Read Fanger (2006) paper.