Inter-comparison of air pollutant concentrations in different indoor environments in Hong Kong

Shun Cheng Lee, Hai Guo, Wai Ming Li, Lo Yin Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

187 Citations (Scopus)


Indoor air quality in selected indoor environments in Hong Kong such as homes, offices, schools, shopping malls and restaurants were investigated. Average CO2levels and total bacteria counts in air-conditioned classrooms, shopping malls and restaurants were comparatively higher than those measured in occupied offices and homes. Elevated CO2levels exceeding 1000ppm and total bacteria counts resulted from high occupancy combined with inadequate ventilation. Average PM10levels were usually higher indoors than outdoors in homes, shopping malls and restaurants. The highest indoor PM10levels were observed at investigated restaurants due to the presence of cigarette smoking and extensive use of gas stoves for cooking. The restaurants and shopping malls investigated had higher formaldehyde levels than other indoor environments when building material, smoking and internal renovation work were present. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in both indoor and outdoor environments mainly resulted from vehicle exhaust emissions. It was observed that interior decoration work and the use of industrial solvents in an indoor environment could significantly increase the indoor levels of VOCs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1929-1940
Number of pages12
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2002


  • Carbon dioxide
  • Formaldehyde
  • Indoor air quality
  • PM 10
  • Total bacteria counts
  • VOCs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Atmospheric Science


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