Ventilation and indoor air quality in retail stores: A critical review (RP-1596)

Identifying air pollutants that pose potential adverse health exposures in retail stores will facilitate exposure mitigation. Assessing the role of ventilation in mitigating this exposure is important to understand the energy implications of maintaining acceptable indoor air quality. In this work, we summarize results from 28 papers that report ventilation rates and/or pollutant concentrations in retail stores. These results were compared to available standards as well as data collected in non-retail environments. The findings of this review are: (1) half of the stores tested met/exceeded ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2010 (ASHRAE 2010a; or California Code of Regulations Title 24-2010) for ventilation; (2) PM2.5, acrolein, formaldehyde, and acetaldehyde exceeded their established, most conservative limits/reference exposures for a few of the stores tested in the United States, and outside the United States, researchers reported PM10, benzene, and trichloroethylene as additional pollutants found at concentrations that exceeded their limits; (3) alternative control methods would be more effective, and possibly more economical, than ventilation; (4) meeting or exceeding the ventilation requirements does not necessarily negate the presence of pollutants above their suggested limits; and (5) using disability-adjusted-life-year (DALY) as a metric of disease burden, two pollutants were identified as priority hazards in retail stores: PM2.5 and acrolein. Control strategies should focus on decreasing exposure of retail employees to these pollutants generated indoors or infiltrated from outdoors.

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CC BY 4.0