Cleaning chemicals and practices : Effects on air quality and indoor microbiota

Leila Kakko*, Raimo Mikkola, Martin Taubel, Tuomas Alapieti, Eija Reunanen, Marika Mannerström, Hanna Leppänen, Maria A. Andersson, Tuula Heinonen, Anne Hyvärinen, Heidi Salonen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review


Chemical residues from the use of cleaning products have been suspected as one of the causes behind indoor air adverse health effects. Presence of chemicals may also have selective impact on the indoor microbiome. Therefore, we implemented a two-year study in 13 schools and 1 day care center in Helsinki Metropolitan area. The aim of the study was to clarify how cleaning chemicals are used in practice as well as the effects of cleaning chemicals and biocides on measured indoor air quality. We studied the indoor microbiota with different sampling methods both in laboratory studies and field measurements. We did not detect any consistent trends of the impact of cleaning intervention - water only cleaning versus regular cleaning agent use - within the measured microbial, chemical and particle parameters. Cleaning with water only did not consistently increase microbial levels and the efficiency of the cleaning was the same. On the other hand, indoor air concentrations of chemical compounds did not decrease during the water only cleaning in this exploratory study.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication16th Conference of the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate
Subtitle of host publicationCreative and Smart Solutions for Better Built Environments, Indoor Air 2020
PublisherInternational Society for Indoor Air Quality and Climate (ISIAQ)
ISBN (Electronic)9781713823605
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventIndoor Air - Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 1 Nov 20205 Nov 2020
Conference number: 16


ConferenceIndoor Air
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of
Internet address


  • Chemical free cleaning
  • Chemicals
  • Cleaning
  • Cleaning intervention
  • Field study
  • Indoor air
  • Microbiome


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