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  • Author: Bernard Połednik x
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Abstract

Simultaneous measurements of the indoor and outdoor particle mass (PM) and particle number (PN) concentrations as well as the air temperature, relative humidity (RH), and CO2 concentrations have been conducted in 6 occupied (L) and unoccupied (V) classrooms in 3 secondary schools in Lublin, Poland, in the heating (H) and summer (S) seasons. The schools were located in residential areas where the majority of private houses are heated by means of coal-burning stoves. The ratios of the average particle concentrations in occupied and unoccupied classrooms (L/V) were higher during the heating season measurements. The ratios of the average particle concentrations during the measurements in the heating and summer seasons (H/S) were higher in occupied classrooms. In both seasons the average PM and PN concentrations amounted to 239 μg/m3 and 7.4×103/cm3 in the occupied classrooms, and to 76 μg/m3 and 5.4×103/cm3 in the unoccupied classrooms, respectively. The particle exposures experienced by students were higher in the monitored classrooms than outdoors and were on average about 50% higher in the heating than in the summer season. A positive correlation between mass concentrations of coarse particles and indoor air temperature, RH and CO2 concentrations in both seasons was observed. The concentrations of fine particles were negatively correlated with the indoor air parameters in the heating season, and positively correlated in the summer season.

Abstract

Most people spend the majority of their time in indoor environments where the level of harmful pollutants is often significantly higher than outdoors. Radon (222Rn) and its decay products are the example of radioactive pollutants. These radioisotopes are the main source of ionizing radiation in non-industrial buildings. The aim of the study was to determine the impact of air-conditioning system on radon and its progeny concentrations and thus on the effective dose. The measurements were carried out in the auditorium at the Environmental Engineering Faculty (Lublin University of Technology, Poland). Measurements of radon and its progeny (in attached and unattached fractions) as well as measurements of the following indoor air parameters were performed in two air-conditioning (AC) operation modes: AC ON and AC ON/OFF. The air supply rate and air recirculation were taken into consideration. The separation of radon progeny into attached and unattached fractions allowed for determining, respectively, the dose conversion factor (DCF) and the inhalation dose for teachers and students in the auditorium. A considerable increase of the mean radon progeny concentrations from 1.2 Bq/m3 to 5.0 Bq/m3 was observed in the AC ON/OFF mode compared to the AC ON mode. This also resulted in the increase of the inhalation dose from 0.005 mSv/y to 0.016 mSv/y (for 200 h/year). Furthermore, the change of the air recirculation rate from 0% to 80% resulted in a decrease of the mean radon concentration from 30 Bq/m3 to 12 Bq/m3 and the reduction of the mean radon progeny concentration from 1.4 Bq/m3 to 0.8 Bq/m3. This resulted in the reduction of the inhalation dose from 0.006 mSv/y to 0.003 mSv/y.