Indoor Air Quality in the United Arab Emirates
William E. Funk, Joachim D. Pleil, Joseph A. Pedit, Maryanne G. Boundy, Karin B. Yeatts, David G. Nash, Chris B. Trent, Mohamed El Sadig, Christopher A. Davidson, David Leith
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, UAE.
Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, USA.
Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, USA.
Department of Preventive Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, USA.
US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington DC, USA.
US Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, USA.
DOI: 10.4236/jep.2014.58072   PDF   HTML     5,461 Downloads   7,621 Views   Citations


Air quality was measured inside 628 United Arab Emirates (UAE) personal residences. Weekly average concentrations of carbon monoxide (CO), formaldehyde (HCHO), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and three size fractions of particulate matter (PM2.5, PMc, and PM10) were determined in each home. In a subset of the homes, measurements of outdoor air quality, ultrafine PM concentrations, and elemental PM concentrations were also made. Questionnaires were administered to obtain information on housing demographics and lifestyle habits. Air measurements were performed using simple and cost effective passive samplers. The 90th percentiles of indoor CO, HCHO, H2S, NO2, and SO2 were 1.55 ppm, 0.05 ppm, 0.12 ppm, 0.01 ppm, and 0.05 ppm, respectively. Median indoor PM2.5, PMc, and PM10, concentrations were 5.73 μg/m3, 29.4 μg/m3, and 35.2 μg/m3, respectively. The median indoor concentration of ultrafine PM was 3.62 × 1010 particles/m3. Indoor/outdoor ratios for PM were 0.44, 0.41, and 0.38 for ultrafine PM, PM2.5, and PM10, respectively. These values fall within the range of other indoor air studies findings conducted in developing countries. Air conditioning, smoking, and attached kitchens were significantly correlated with indoor levels of carbon monoxide. In addition, indoor concentrations of PM2.5 and PM10 were significantly correlated with vehicles parked within five meters of the home, central air conditioning, and having attached kitchens. This is the first robust indoor air quality data set developed for the UAE. This study demonstrates that screening level tools are a good initial step for assessing air quality when logistical issues (distance, language, cultural, training) and intrusion into personal lives need to be minimized.

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Funk, W. , Pleil, J. , Pedit, J. , Boundy, M. , Yeatts, K. , Nash, D. , Trent, C. , Sadig, M. , Davidson, C. and Leith, D. (2014) Indoor Air Quality in the United Arab Emirates. Journal of Environmental Protection, 5, 709-722. doi: 10.4236/jep.2014.58072.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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