Impacts of heatwaves on the indoor air quality of offices and their occupants: A glimpse of the future?

Nicola Carslaw*, Andrew Terry, Mike Ashmore

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A heatwave across Europe in 2003 made headlines for extreme temperatures, high ozone concentrations and thousands of excess deaths. Such events are likely to increase in frequency, as climate change impacts are more keenly felt. Furthermore, as the main source of indoor ozone is from outdoors, increased chemical processing indoors is also likely to result. This paper investigates potential impacts on office air quality with a detailed chemical model, using the 2003 heatwave as an example. For a typical landscape office in Athens, indoor concentrations of ozone could reach 45 ppb, with PM2.5 concentrations up to 25 μg/m3. Around 7 μg/m3 of this total was down to the outdoor chemistry in Athens providing a primed mixture of gas-phase precursors that could readily form aerosol once indoors. The secondary organic aerosol composition indoors was dominated by organic nitrogen species, with peroxide species gaining more importance during cleaning activities in offices.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIndoor Air 2014
Subtitle of host publication13th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate
PublisherInternational Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)978-1-63439-731-5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Event13th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate, Indoor Air 2014 - Hong Kong, United Kingdom
Duration: 7 Jul 201412 Jul 2014


Conference13th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate, Indoor Air 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityHong Kong


  • Cleaning
  • Detailed chemical model
  • Indoor air pollution
  • Limonene
  • Ozone

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