A fresh view about indoor air pollution

A study shows that humans' presence increases the concentration of some chemical compounds in a room. It should be no surprise, as metabolism breaks longer organic molecules into smaller ones, and some escape the body when breathing or sweating.

The test measurements indicated that a morning session of three persons in a room increased formaldehyde concentration from 7.20 μg/m3 to 10.8 μg/m3. Under the same conditions, total volatile organic compounds (boiling point 50-260°C) increased by a whopping 191%.

 Key takeaways from the study:

  1. Save money and open your window rather than buying that expensive app-controlled air filter.
  2. Formaldehyde emissions are also a marketing tool. Our body emits formaldehyde in measurable quantities, but nobody points at you. Particleboard panels and laminates are treated much worse.
  3. Typically, screaming against a chemical gets you more attention than trying to make people think.