Indoor air quality investigation at air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned markets in Hong Kong

Hai Guo, S. C. Lee, L. Y. Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


To characterize indoor air quality at the markets in Hong Kong, three non-air-conditioned and two air-conditioned markets were selected for this study. The indoor air pollutants measured included PM10(particulate matters with aerodynamic diameter less than 10 μm), total bacteria count (TBC), carbon monoxide (CO), nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2). The indoor and outdoor concentrations of these target air pollutants at these markets were measured and compared. The effects of air conditioning, temperature/relative humidity variation and different stalls on the indoor air quality were also investigated. The results indicated that all of the average indoor concentrations of PM10, TBC, CO and NO2at the markets were below the Hong Kong Indoor Air Quality Objectives (HKIAQO) standards with a few exceptions for PM10and TBC. The elevated PM10concentrations at Hung Hom, Ngau Tau Kok and Wan Chai markets were probably due to the air filtration of outdoor airborne particulates emitted from vehicular exhaust, whereas high concentrations of airborne bacteria at Sai Ying Pun and Tin Shing markets were linked to the use of air conditioning. Correlation analysis demonstrated that indoor bacteria concentrations were correlated with temperature and relative humidity. The operation of air conditioning did not significantly reduce the levels of air pollutants at the markets. However, the higher indoor/outdoor ratios demonstrated that the operation of air conditioning had influence on the levels of bacteria at the markets. It was found that average PM10concentration at poultry stalls was higher than the HKIAQO standard of 180 μg/m3, and was over two times that measured at vegetable, fish and meat stalls. Furthermore, the concentration of airborne bacteria at the poultry stalls was as high as 1031 CFU/m3, which was above the HKIAQO standard of 1000 CFU/m3. The bacteria levels at other three stalls were all below the HKIAQO standard. Statistical analysis indicated that there were no significant differences among the four stalls for CO, NOxand SO2.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-98
Number of pages12
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2004


  • Air conditioned
  • Hong Kong
  • Indoor air quality
  • Market

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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