Indoor air quality in chemical laboratories
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Chemical laboratories are special microenvironments, in which many pollutants may be found because of the large range and number of chemicals that can be used, while concentrations of some specific ones may relatively be elevated due to high source strengths depending on the type and the number of experiments conducted and the number of people working in the laboratory. Laboratories can be considered as public places for the students whereas they are occupational microenvironments for their staff (technicians, specialists and teaching/research assistants). Hence, laboratory indoor air quality (IAQ) is of importance due to chronic, toxic and carcinogenic health risks for the staff in addition to possible acute effects for both staff and students. This chapter presents background information regarding pertinent indoor air pollutants, factors that determine their concentrations, indoor environmental comfort, a review of the literature on indoor environmental quality in chemical laboratories and measures of IAQ management.