Association between four-level categorisation of indoor exposure and perceived indoor air quality

Katja Tähtinen*, Sanna Lappalainen, Kirsi Karvala, Jouko Remes, Heidi Salonen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
154 Downloads (Pure)


The aim of this study was to develop and test a tool for assessing urgency of indoor air quality (IAQ) measures. The condition of the 27 buildings were investigated and results were categorized. Statistical test studied the differences between the categories and the employees complaints about their work environment. To study the employees’ experiences of the work premises, a validated indoor air (IA) questionnaire was used. This study reveals a multifaceted problem: many factors affecting IAQ may also affect perceived IAQ, making it difficult to separate the impurity sources and ventilation system deficiencies affecting to employee experiences. An examination of the relationship between the categories and perceived IAQ revealed an association between the mould odour perceived by employees and mould detected by the researcher. A weak link was also found between the assessed categories and environmental complaints. However, we cannot make far-reaching conclusions regarding the assessed probability of abnormal IA exposure in the building on the basis of employee experiences. According to the results, categorising tool can partly support the assessment of the urgency for repairs when several factors that affect IAQ are taken into account.

Original languageEnglish
Article number679
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Building investigation
  • Categorisation
  • Impurity sources
  • Indoor air
  • Indoor air questionnaire
  • Repair urgency


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