This project started from April 28, 2009 and ended with April 27, 2010. During the period of this project, the findings and results of the implementation works were summarized as the followings.
The explanatory meeting on the autonomous management and improvement technology of indoor air quality was held on June 29, 2009. The invited participants include the authorities at Tainan County government and the specialists responsible for the management of public places in the organizations. The topics of this meeting were focused on the suggested standard levels of indoor air quality, the draft of related regulations, the improvement technology of indoor air quality, an introduction of the autonomous management system of indoor air quality. Besides, the practice of direct detection apparatus measurement was demonstrated during the meeting so that the participants might obtain the clear impression and realize the importance of managing indoor air quality.
In order to implement the autonomous management system of indoor air quality in Tainan County, 25 public locations were selected for the screening of indoor air quality, including 4 locations suggested by Taiwan EPA. The measurement of indoor air quality was conducted by direct detection apparatus, including CO2, CO, formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), PM10, PM2.5, O3 and temperature. All measurement works were implemented by October 1, 2009. The results showed that the problems of indoor air quality frequently occurred at the screened public locations, and the levels of CO2 and O3 were commonly found above the suggested threshold by Taiwan EPA.
Referring to the detected indoor air quality at 25 screened public locations, 22 public locations were chosen for the detailed measurement of indoor air quality by the EPA standard methods. The chosen public locations for the detailed measurement of indoor air quality include hospitals, library, university, office building, speedway station, and business stores. Besides of 8 previous detected items, the measurements of bacteria, fungus and humidity were involved in the detailed measurement of indoor air quality. The results of the detailed measurement showed that 68% public locations exceeded the suggested threshold of indoor air quality in CO2, 50% in bacteria, and 41% in fungus. For the first category of public locations, the levels of CO2 and bacteria were above the suggested threshold in all hospitals. During acupuncture or medical therapy, a high level of gaseous formaldehyde was found in the Chinese medicine examination room. The measured items exceeding the suggested threshold are bacteria with fungus in library, and CO2, bacteria, with fungus in university. For the second category of public locations, the CO2 level was found a potential problem in the theater and hypermarket during the weekends. The measured items exceeding the suggested threshold are bacteria with fungus in speedway station, fast-food store, and exercise center.
The correlation analysis of the average measurement was applied to identify the difference between the measurement by direct detection apparatus and by the EPA standard methods. The correlation of the measurements was low (r < 0.4) in O3, formaldehyde, and TVOC, while the other measured items showed a high correlation (r > 0.7). Although the measurement by direct detection apparatus has the weakness in analysis, it still plays an important role in screening measurement due to its cheap price, handy operation, strong mobility, and rapid detection.
For solving the IAQ problems in public locations, the project team has invited the experts on indoor air quality to implement site surveys and provide the improvement suggestions. The examination of improvement measures was followed up, and the effectiveness of improving indoor air quality will be subsequently evaluated through the detailed measurement. Among 18 surveyed sites, the improvement measures are 100% for 5 sites, 50% for 1 site, 33% for 1 site, and 0% for 1 site in the first category of public locations. The improvement measures are 100% for 5 sites and 50% for 4 sites in the second category of public locations. Also, the showcase of Kun Shan University asked the students to keep the windows partially-open for better ventilation in the classroom, and this action greatly reduced the CO2 level to 644 ppm. The cleanup and maintenance of freshness in the classroom has effectively eliminated the problems of bacteria and fungus.
For continually tracking the causes of the IAQ problems in public locations, Chia-Li hospital was selected as the voluntary showcase of improving indoor air quality. Chia-Li hospital has accepted 2 on-site negotiations, 3 walk-through detections, detailed measurement on the abnormal items, the preparation of IAQ autonomous management project, and the training of operating direct detection apparatus by the project team. The improvement measures showed that the CO2 level was greatly reduced through improving ventilation and the cleanup and disinfection in the hospital has effectively eliminated the problems of bacteria and fungus. Based on the measurement, the high level of fungus in the hospital mainly originated from the outdoors.
The project team has helped the specialists in 20 public locations preparing the IAQ autonomous management projects and the related table sheets. The regarding information was summarized and uploaded the compiled profiles to the IAQ information website established by Taiwan EPA.
In order to provide more information as reference for the improvement of indoor air quality, the project team has collected information on domestic and foreign management methods and improvement techniques for indoor air quality. The announcing meeting of project finding was held on April 15, 2010. The delegates from 22 public locations were invited to participate the meeting for realizing the IAQ problems and the solution schemes. In order to advertise the project result and finding, the project team has announced 2 environmental news on the newspapers and published 2 scientific articles at the 13th Mainland-Taiwan Environmental Protection Conference.