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Comparison of indoor air quality during sleep in smokers and non-smokers' bedrooms: A preliminary study.


People spend one third of their life sleeping, but the bedroom, as a specific micro-environment, is often neglected when assessing human exposure to air pollutants. However, exposure during sleep may be significant in the long-term to the integrated individual exposure. This study aimed to assess the exposure during sleep, focusing on a multi-pollutant approach (comfort parameters, carbon dioxide - CO, carbon monoxide - CO, formaldehyde (CHO), total volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulate matter - PM and PM - and ultrafine particles, particle number concentrations - PNC - and lung deposited surface area - LDSA). For that, the air quality during sleep (in real conditions) was monitored using real-time devices in 12 bedrooms of urban (Lisbon and Vila Franca de Xira) and rural (Ponte de Sor) areas of Portugal for one night. Volunteers were smokers and non-smokers. Considering the Portuguese legislation for indoor air quality (IAQ), 67% of the bedrooms registered CO levels above the limit value, while CHO, VOC, PM and PM thresholds were exceeded in 30, 100, 36, and 45% of cases, respectively. Regarding ultrafine parameters, LDSA and PNC ranged from 7.3 to 95.2 μm/cm and from 0.6 to 4.8 × 10/cm, respectively. Even with no smoking indoors, smokers' bedrooms were found to have significant higher levels of CO, CHO, PM, PM and LDSA than non-smokers' bedrooms, showing the effect of thirdhand smoke, exhalation of pollutants after smoking and infiltration on the degradation of the air quality in the bedroom. A recent new model of real-time monitor was also used for a wide set of IAQ parameters. Its performance to measure PM and CO was assessed, showing its applicability in real conditions. Although often neglected, these micro-environments should be considered in the integrated individual exposure to air pollutants and further studied. MAIN FINDINGS OF THE WORK: Several pollutants (CO, PM, VOCs and CHO) exceeded the guidelines during sleep; smokers are exposed to higher levels of CO, CHO, PM, and LDSA than non-smokers while sleeping. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.