Indoor environment quality (IEQ) factors

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What established or possible indoor environment quality (IEQ) factors exist? What kind of exposure-response functions have been defined for them?



Indoor environment quality factors(-)
ObsExposure agentResponseResponse metricExposure routeExposure unitERF parameterERFSignificanceDescription/Reference
1Visible dampness and/or mold or mold odorRespiratory health effectInhalationyes/noORseveral, see Note 1Note 1
2Dampness or mold, minimalMental health problemsPrevalenceyes/noOR1.39 (1.02-1.89)Shenassa et al. 2007
3Dampness or mold, moderateMental health problemsPrevalenceyes/noOR1.44 (1.08-1.92)Shenassa et al. 2007
4Dampness or mold, extensiveMental health problemsPrevalenceyes/noOR1.34 (0.97-1.85)Shenassa et al. 2007
5Dampness and/or moldMental health problemsPrevalenceyes/noOR1.76 (1.17-2.66)0.0056Hopton and Hunt 1996
6Dampness and/or moldSelf-assessed health poorerNote 2
7Living in a low income household Mental health problemsPrevalenceyes/noOR1.61 (1.06-2.44)0.0231Hopton and Hunt 1996
8Respondent unemployedMental health problemsPrevalenceyes/noOR1.55 (0.99-2.42)0.0483Hopton and Hunt 1996
9Living in flat instead of houseMorbidityMorbidityyes/noRR1.57Fanning 1967
10Floor of livingPsychoneurotic disorderIncidence1st vs. groundRR1.06Fanning 1967 (RR calculated from Table 8)
11Floor of livingPsychoneurotic disorderIncidence2nd vs. groundRR1.74Fanning 1967 (RR calculated from Table 8)
12Floor of livingPsychoneurotic disorderIncidence3rd vs. groundRR2.02Fanning 1967 (RR calculated from Table 8)
13Environmental tobacco smokeLung cancerMorbidityInhalationyes/noRR1.21 (1.13-1.30)Note 7
14Environmental tobacco smokeIschaemic heart diseaseMortalityInhalationyes/noRR1.27 (1.19-1.36)Note 7
15Environmental tobacco smokeAsthmaMorbidityInhalationyes/noRR1.97 (1.19-3.25)Age >21; Note 7
16Environmental tobacco smokeAsthmaMorbidityInhalationyes/noRR1.32 (1.24-1.41)Age <14; Note 7
17Environmental tobacco smokeLung infectionsMorbidityInhalationyes/noRR1.55 (1.42-1.69)Age <2; Note 7
18Environmental tobacco smokeMiddle ear inflammationMorbidityInhalationyes/noRR1.38 (1.21-1.56)Age <3; Note 7
19Environmental tobacco smokeIrritation of eyes and mucosa
20Environmental tobacco smokeOdour problemsInhalation
21Environmental tobacco smokeComfort of housing
22Environmental tobacco smokeChronic infectionsInhalation
23Wood smokeRespiratory health effectInhalationNote 3, Note 4
24Wood smokeIrritation of eyes and mucosa
25Wood smokeRespiratory health effectInhalation
26Wood smokeOdour problemsInhalation
27Wood smokeComfort of housing
28Wood smokeChronic infectionsInhalation
29Wood smokeCancerInhalation
30VOCsIrritation symptoms
35Insufficient air exchangeHeadache
36Insufficient air exchangeTiredness
37Insufficient air exchangeDecreased ability to concentrate
38Insufficient air exchangeFeeling of fug
39Thermal conditions; heatTiredness
40Thermal conditions; heatDecreased ability to concentrate
41Thermal conditions; heatIncreased respiratory symptoms
42Thermal conditions; heatFeeling of dryness
43Thermal conditions; heatComfort of housing
44Thermal comfort (draught or cold)Mental health problemsNote 2
45Thermal comfort (heat or cold)DepressionNote 2
46Thermal comfort (heat or cold; general perception of thermal problems)Self-assessed health poorerNote 2
47Thermal conditions (cold)Feeling of draught
48Thermal conditions (cold)Comfort of housing
49NoiseHearing injury
50NoiseSleep disturbance
52NoiseComfort of housing
53Proximity to trafficMortality
54RadonLung cancerNote 5
55Relative humidity
56PM2.5MortalityNote 3
57PM2.5Chronic bronchitis
58PM2.5Lung cancer
59Reduced space (house/flat)DepressionNote 2
60Reduced space (house/flat)Mental health problemsNote 2
61Reduced space (house/flat)Self-assessed health poorerNote 2
62Access to gardenDepressionNote 2
63Floor levelMental health problemsNote 2
64OvercrowdingMental health problemsNote 2
65OvercrowdingSelf assessed health poorerNote 2
66Sensory IAQVarious health and well-being parameters
67Maternal employmentMaltreatment of childrenPrevalenceno/yesOR2.82 (1.59-5.00)Sidebotham et al. 2002
68No. of house moves in previous 5 yearsMaltreatment of childrenPrevalence2-3 vs. 0-1OR1.32 (0.77-2.27)Sidebotham et al. 2002
69No. of house moves in previous 5 yearsMaltreatment of childrenPrevalence4 or more vs. 0-1OR2.81 (1.59-4.96)Sidebotham et al. 2002
70Overcrowded accomodationMaltreatment of childrenPrevalenceyes/noOR2.16 (1.27-3.70)Sidebotham et al. 2002
71AccomodationMaltreatment of childrenPrevalenceCouncil vs. owned/mortgargedOR7.65 (3.30-17.75)Sidebotham et al. 2002
72AccomodationMaltreatment of childrenPrevalenceRented vs. owned/mortgargedOR4.47 (1.82-10.98)Sidebotham et al. 2002
73Social Network Score < 21Maltreatment of childrenPrevalenceyes/noOR3.09 (1.84-5.19)Sidebotham et al. 2002
74Paternal employementMaltreatment of childrenPrevalenceno/yesOR2.33 (1.43-3.77)Sidebotham et al. 2002
75Car useMaltreatment of childrenPrevalenceno/yesOR2.33 (1.41-3.83)Sidebotham et al. 2002
76No. of deprivation indicatorsMaltreatment of childrenPrevalence1 vs. 0OR9.58 (2.64-34.81)Note 6; Sidebotham et al. 2002
77No. of deprivation indicatorsMaltreatment of childrenPrevalence2 vs. 0OR23.44 (6.61-83.15)Note 6; Sidebotham et al. 2002
78No. of deprivation indicatorsMaltreatment of childrenPrevalence3 vs. 0OR59.30 (17.52-200.76)Note 6; Sidebotham et al. 2002
79No. of deprivation indicatorsMaltreatment of childrenPrevalence4 vs. 0OR111.36 (32.31-383.801)Note 6; Sidebotham et al. 2002
80House dampnessProblems in energy (according Nottingham Health Profile)Prevalenceyes/noOR2.13Packer et al. 1994 (OR calculated from Table 8)
81House dampnessSocial isolation (according Nottingham Health Profile)Prevalenceyes/noOR2.04Packer et al. 1994 (OR calculated from Table 8)
82House dampnessProblems in sleep (according Nottingham Health Profile)Prevalenceyes/noOR1.50Packer et al. 1994 (OR calculated from Table 8)
83House dampnessProblems in emotional reactions (according Nottingham Health Profile)Prevalenceyes/noOR1.27Packer et al. 1994 (OR calculated from Table 8)
84House dampnessProblems in physical mobility (according Nottingham Health Profile)Prevalenceyes/noOR1.37Packer et al. 1994 (OR calculated from Table 8)
85House dampnessPerception of pain (according Nottingham Health Profile)Prevalenceyes/noOR1.28Packer et al. 1994 (OR calculated from Table 8)
86SmokingChronic respiratory diseasePrevalenceInhalationyes/noOR4.36 (2.46-7.74)0.000Blackman et al. 2001
87DampnessChronic respiratory diseasePrevalenceInhalationyes/noOR2.10 (1.36-3.50)0.004Blackman et al. 2001
88Unwaged householdChronic respiratory diseasePrevalenceyes/noOR1.73 (1.24-2.41)0.001Blackman et al. 2001
89Unsafe neighborhoodMental health problemsPrevalenceyes/noOR2.35 (1.41-3.92)0.001Blackman et al. 2001
90DraughtsMental health problemsPrevalenceyes/noOR2.28 (1.41-3.69)0.001Blackman et al. 2001
91RehousingPalpitations/breathlessnessPrevalenceyes/noOR0.71Pettricrew et al. 2009 (OR calculated from Table 5)
92RehousingPersistent coughPrevalenceyes/noOR0.89Pettricrew et al. 2009 (OR calculated from Table 5)
93RehousingPainful jointsPrevalenceyes/noOR0.70Pettricrew et al. 2009 (OR calculated from Table 5)
94RehousingFaints/dizzinessPrevalenceyes/noOR0.68Pettricrew et al. 2009 (OR calculated from Table 5)
95RehousingDifficulty in sleepingPrevalenceyes/noOR0.49Pettricrew et al. 2009 (OR calculated from Table 5)
96RehousingSinus trouble/catarhPrevalenceyes/noOR0.79Pettricrew et al. 2009 (OR calculated from Table 5)
97Housing tenurePoor self-rated healthPrevalencerenter vs. ownerOR1.48 (1.31-1.68)Pollack et al. 2004

Precision and Plausability of Hopton and Hunt (1996)

- Reporting bias: Perhaps ít´s difficult to use subjective data due to reporting bias. This is because people may answer in different ways or they don´t answer at all. In addition, people experience household conditions differently.

- Possible confounding variables such as sociodemographic and economic variables, e.g. age and income, were controlled.

- Selection bias: The sample is clearly not representative of the general population and therefore the analysis focuses on differences within the sample. Thus it´s worth considering if the results can be generalized to whole population.

Precision and Plausability of Sidebotham et al. (2002)

- Maltreatment is defined and measured as registration for physical injury, neglect, sexual abuse, emotional abuse. That way all maltreatments, which are not registered are not taken into account.

- The measurement of the social class is not too accurate, because no allowance for nonworking mothers and no parental social class allocated for single mothers can be applied.

- The nature of relationship with child maltreatment is complex (confounder, cultural values, etc). That causes problems in finding an association or causality between an exposure factor and maltreatment. Moreover, maltreatment has different definition in different cultural groups.

- The parental income is not measured directly, but car ownership as a proxy indicator and the receipt of welfare payment are used.

- Controlling for social factors was done.

- Large amount of prospectively collected data are used in in the study, which is a clear strength.

- The participation is lower among the maltreated group, which might influence the outcome of the statistical analysis or bias the results of the study.

- The risk of social bias and no way of measuring the effect of such bias. A social bias can be defined as a prejudgement of a specific social group. In this case, it might be that those, who collected the data might have expectations, that parents which lower or higher social background are more prone to maltreat their child and let this expectation influence their interpretation of the results. This is not very likely here, though, because all parameters which were used for the analysis can me measured and there is not much freedome for interpretation.

Precision and Plausability of Packer et al. (1994)

- health problems: possibility of headache, mental problems, emotional reactions, social isolation and pain.

- social factors: unemployment, single parent, lone adult and unemployment with sickness or disability

- lifestyle: consumption of alcohol and smoking

Precision and Plausability of Blackman et al. (2001)

- Bias in respondents answers to realistically evaluate their and family members health

- Some housings that where targets on first survey were demolished during second survey.

- No data from comparison neighbourhood without renewal to back up observed health changes after renewal program.

- Relationship between dampness, draughts and mental health is uncertain, because the mechanism is unknown

- Multivariate analysis using regression model was used to control variables, such as economic, housing, respiratory and mental health related to increase plausability which increases the plausibility of ERF.

Precision and Plausability of D. Fanning (1967)

- The study is quite old. Probably today many other parameters in addition to those used in the article would be measured when conducting this kind of study.

- The study has considered the difference between children and adults.

- The study has not considered the differences between different flats and houses. They have only categories for houses and flats but the differences between houses are not considered. This may cause bias to the study.

Precision and Plausability of Petticrew et al. (2009)

- Data collection at the three occassions in the intervention group before moving, one year after moving and 2 years after moving to the social housing gives strenght to the study in analysing changes in the housing circumstances and in neighbourhood.

- Recruitment into the study was discussed by the landlord to the tenant once they have accepted the housing offer which dosn't gives the RSL direct contact with the participant though this serves as a way of good recruitments but it dose not guarantee the authenticity of the data collected. e.g RSL couldn't supply the number of people who refuse to participate in the study to the SHARP research team.

- Broad range of adult household categories in the intervention group which was used as a base for recruiting the comparism group stenghthen the study. (family households, with children under age of sixteen years, older households where the respondents and adult members of the households were of pensionable age, and adult households with a combination of relationships, including parents with children atleast 16 years of age, people unrelated to one and another and couples )

- Qualitative and quantitative findings were only presented for 1 year(wave 2) in the study which dose not proof if the effects are sustained and probabely if differences in health outcomes occur at two years in the intervention and comparism groups.

- recollection bias may occur during interview if participant in the groups if they can not recall adequately past occurences relating to health, housing and neighbourhood questions after one year and two years of movement to the new house.

- Bias in subsequent analysis can also occur if there is any significant changes in the groups associated with self reported health.

Precision and Plausibility of Pollack et al. (2004)

The study controls some factors which can potentially cause bias in the result, like socioeconomic factors, relation to the neighbours and pollution of the local environment. However, the potential effects of working conditions on the health of the study subjects has not been addressed. In addition, it should be found out whether life style, diet, smoking, and use of alcohol are included it in socioeconomic factors.

Indoor environment quality (IEQ) factors

IEQ factors(h-1,%,%,%,-,%,%,%,Bq/m3)
ObsBuildingHeatingVentilation rateDampness%Smoking%Biomass burning%Indoor background emissionsIn noise areas%Too hot in summer%Too cold in winter%RadonDescription
1Detached housesDistrict0.71 (0.3-1.12)5-16.52.35 (1.4-3.4)15100 (95-105)Gens, 2012; Turunen et al. 2010; Haverinen-Shaughnessy, 2012; Assumption based on city´s data; Kurttio 2006
2Detached housesElectricity0.71 (0.3-1.12)5-16.52.35 (1.4-3.4)15100 (95-105)Gens, 2012; Turunen et al. 2010; Haverinen-Shaughnessy, 2012; Assumption based on city´s data; Kurttio 2006
3Detached housesOil0.71 (0.3-1.12)5-16.52.35 (1.4-3.4)15100 (95-105)Gens, 2012; Turunen et al. 2010; Haverinen-Shaughnessy, 2012; Assumption based on city´s data; Kurttio 2006
4Detached housesWood0.71 (0.3-1.12)5-16.52.35 (1.4-3.4)15100 (95-105)Gens, 2012; Turunen et al. 2010; Haverinen-Shaughnessy, 2012; Assumption based on city´s data; Kurttio 2006
5Detached housesGeothermal0.71 (0.3-1.12)5-16.52.35 (1.4-3.4)15100 (95-105)Gens, 2012; Turunen et al. 2010; Haverinen-Shaughnessy, 2012; Assumption based on city´s data; Kurttio 2006
6Row housesDistrict0.71 (0.3-1.12)5-16.52.35 (1.4-3.4)21100 (95-105)Gens, 2012; Turunen et al. 2010; Haverinen-Shaughnessy, 2012; Assumption based on city´s data; Kurttio 2006
7Apartment housesDistrict0.71 (0.3-1.12)5-16.52.35 (1.4-3.4)30100 (95-105)Gens, 2012; Turunen et al. 2010; Haverinen-Shaughnessy, 2012; Assumption based on city´s data; Kurttio 2006
8Leisure housesElectricity
11Health and social sectorDistrict0Assumption
14EducationalDistrict240Haverinen-Shaughnessy et al. 2012; Assumption

Gens 2012 [1]

Haverinen-Shaughnessy 2010 [2]

Haverinen-Shaughnessy et al. 2012 [3]

Turunen et al. 2010 [4]

See also

Urgenche research project 2011 - 2014: city-level climate change mitigation
Urgenche pages

Urgenche main page · Category:Urgenche · Urgenche project page (password-protected)

Relevant data
Building stock data in Urgenche‎ · Building regulations in Finland · Concentration-response to PM2.5 · Emission factors for burning processes · ERF of indoor dampness on respiratory health effects · ERF of several environmental pollutions · General criteria for land use · Indoor environment quality (IEQ) factors · Intake fractions of PM · Land use in Urgenche · Land use and boundary in Urgenche · Energy use of buildings

Relevant methods
Building model · Energy balance · Health impact assessment · Opasnet map · Help:Drawing graphs · OpasnetUtils‎ · Recommended R functions‎ · Using summary tables‎

City Kuopio
Climate change policies and health in Kuopio (assessment) · Climate change policies in Kuopio (plausible city-level climate policies) · Health impacts of energy consumption in Kuopio · Building stock in Kuopio · Cost curves for energy (prioritization of options) · Energy balance in Kuopio (energy data) · Energy consumption and GHG emissions in Kuopio by sector · Energy consumption classes (categorisation) · Energy consumption of heating of buildings in Kuopio · Energy transformations (energy production and use processes) · Fuels used by Haapaniemi energy plant · Greenhouse gas emissions in Kuopio · Haapaniemi energy plant in Kuopio · Land use in Kuopio · Building data availability in Kuopio · Password-protected pages: File:Heat use in Kuopio.csv · Kuopio housing

City Basel
Buildings in Basel (password-protected)

Energy balances
Energy balance in Basel · Energy balance in Kuopio · Energy balance in Stuttgart · Energy balance in Suzhou



  1. Gens 2012 [1]
  2. Haverinen-Shaughnessy 2010 [2]
  3. Haverinen-Shaughnessy et al. 2012 [3]
  4. Turunen et al. 2010 [4]

Related files


Indoor environment quality (IEQ) factors. Opasnet . [5]. Accessed 10 Dec 2022.