Intera work packages

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This is a page containing the info on the work packages of the INTERA project. For exposure estimates produced by Intera, see Category:Intera. For exposure models, see INTERA Indoor exposure knowledge management system.

Work package 1: Exposure determinants and modifiers


The first INTERA work-package aims to collect and summarise existing information on measurements of indoor air pollutants gathered in homes within the European Union.


Previous studies’ datasets will be reviewed and information from studies such as Heimtsa (Health and Environment Integrated Methodology and Toolbox for Scenario Assessment), which brought together all the available data on a selected number of pollutants, such as PM10 and PM2.5, VOCs, and flame retardants, will be collated. Similar activity will review outputs and datasets from studies such as INDEX, AIRMEX, THADE, Expolis and CAIR4HEALTH.

WP1 will also review all existing indoor air quality (IAQ) models and using information from these we will generate a matrix of indoor air pollutants (IAP) and the primary determinants of exposure.


Both the review of existing indoor air pollutant data and the collation of the various IAQ models will be brought together in a single report which will be published on this website. The IAP data will be fed in to the Knowledge Management System (KMS) that forms much of the work of WP2.

Final report

The Final Report for INTERA Work Package 1 is now available (3rd March 2011). It can be viewed here.

A lay summary of the final report can be viewed here.


The contact person for WP1 is Sean Semple from Aberdeen University, Scotland (sean.semple[]

Work package 2: Knowledge Management System


The main task of WP2 is to review and collate the data for parameters defined as main determinants of indoor exposure by the work done in WP1. The data collected is used as input data for the case studies done in WP5, which utilize the modelling platform developed in WP3.


The information from the relevant previous studies and available web based databases are used as the primary source of information. The data groups that are covered are:

  • indoor and outdoor exposure levels
  • indoor sources and source emissions
  • housing and sociological conditions determining exposures
  • exposure modifiers, such as consumer behaviour, time-activity, indoor:outdoor ratio and the air exchange rates
  • indoor source emission and exposure models


A web based indoor exposure knowledge management system (KMS) is built up to accommodate the data collected. In addition links to usable exposure modelling tools and links to exposure assessment guidance documents are provided. KMS is built up on a Wiki based system, which allows all interested parties to contribute on the content. This provides possibility to provide access to collected data to anyone interested in using that. It also makes it easier to keep the content updated as more people can easily provide their inputs. The indoor exposure KMS is up and running at: INTERA Indoor exposure knowledge management system.


The contact person for WP2 is Arja Asikainen from THL, Finland (jouni.tuomisto[]

Work package 3: Computational Platform


The main objective of WP3 is the development and implementation of an integrated computational platform for exposure assessment in indoor environments to better exemplify and support the standardisation of the approach. The platform covers all parts of the exposure chain from sources, through to indoor fate modelling, exposure scenario build-up and exposure modelling (both external and internal as needed for robust assessment) (Figure 1).

The computational platform

Figure 1: Conceptual representation of the proposed platform.

The computational platform is composed by 3 main modules, namely:

  • Emissions-Concentrations component
  • Exposure component
  • Internal dose – PBPK/PD (Physiology Based PharmacoKinetic/PharmacoDynamic) model component

Most of the modules correspond to systems of differential equations that describe a dynamic environmental or biological procedure. Thus, the whole modelling environment describes a dynamic interaction, and changes of individual parameters of previous steps-compartments having a direct effect on the parameters of the next ones. Moreover, with the mechanistic approach described above and the connection between the modules, backwards estimations are also feasible allowing a better interpretation-exploitation of the existing data (environmental or biomonitoring) and filling the gaps of the full chain assessment.

The uncertainty associated with each dataset input into the platform will be explicitly reported either in the form of probability distribution functions (if available) or at least in terms of value ranges or other simple statistical metrics, like standard deviation and mean/median values of the parameters used.

The INTERA platform follows the open architecture paradigm in order to allow future models to be readily used within the same framework on the basis of a standardized input / output protocol. This will allow the tool to be easily adapted to scientific / technical progress. It is an end-user workstation and providing a web-browser is installed, needs only to have an Internet connection to allow the user to connect to the INTERA server to run the platform.

A presentation on the computational platform was given at the Indoor Air Conference 2011. A copy of that presentation can be accessed here.


The final deliverables will be the “full chain” exposure modelling system (software) and its operating and user manuals. The computational platform is available [1]. You will need to register first (it is free to use).


The contact person for WP3 is Alberto Gotti from CERTH, Greece (gottial[]

Work package 4: Exposure Displays


The aim of this work package is to develop tools in order to visualize the output of the modelling platform (WP3) in an attractive and correct way. Adequate visualisation tools for presenting results of exposure in the indoor environment are essentially for policy-making purposes as well as for communication to the public at large.


A set of visualization tools, starting from simple charts to geographical maps will be developed. Special attention will be paid to avoid misinterpretation of spatial trends in indoor exposure by a correct presentation of the uncertainty and variability within and across spatioal units (e.g. countries or regions), and by providing information on the underlying mechanisms driving the spatial trend (e.g. ventilation of dwellings, consumer behaviour etc).

The tools will be developed in such a way that exposure displays can be generated online, via web-based services (geo-server for geographical maps and webserver java-scripts for charts), with an automated coupling with the output of the WP3 computational platform.


The contact person for WP4 is Kathleen De Brouwere from VITO, Belgium (Kathleen.debrouwere[]

Work package 5: Case studies


The purpose of work package 5 is to apply the full chain approach developed, as described in work packages 1 to 4, using three case studies. The aims of the case studies are to test the developed integrated methodology; suggest any refining to the data tools and identify where the data gaps are.

Scope of the case studies

The tools will be tested using three case studies, these being:

  1. Dimethyl fumarate (DMF) through dermal exposure;
  2. Phthalates through multi-pathway exposures;
  3. BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes) with mixture effect.


Firstly, reports on overall indoor exposure in Europe for the pollutants dealt with in the case studies providing exposure distributions for households in the EU and highlighting the characteristics of homes identified as having particularly high personal exposures will be produced.

Secondly, suggestions regarding the current data gaps, ways to fill them, and how to optimize the full chain indoor exposure assessment methodology to become an across-the-board standard for indoor exposure and risk assessment will be reported.


The three case studies are available to view as appendices to the main report, found here.


The contact person for WP5 is Karen Galea from IOM, Scotland (Karen.Galea[]

Work Package 6: Dissemination


The purpose of this work package is to disseminate the findings of INTERA. This website will play an important role in delivering project related information to users.

Methods of dissemination

A multi-faceted approach to dissemination will be used, which will consist of:

  • publication in peer-reviewed journals;
  • proactive participation in international fora (e.g. conferences); and
  • passive dissemination through internet-based communication (e.g. this project website and the project newsletters).
  • A user and stakeholder workshop will be held near the end of the project. This workshop will communicate the principal results of INTERA to key stakeholders.

A final report of the project has been prepared and includes all relevant research findings. The final report, and associated appendices, is available here.

For copies of the newsletters published throughout the project, please go here.


The contact person for WP6 is Emma Doust from IOM, Scotland (Karen.Galea[]]