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Exhaust ventilation in attached garages improves residential indoor air quality


Mallach, G and St-Jean, M and MacNeill, M and Aubin, D and Wallace, L and Shin, T and Van Ryswyk, K and Kulka, R and You, H and Fugler, D and Lavigne, E and Wheeler, AJ, Exhaust ventilation in attached garages improves residential indoor air quality, Indoor Air: International Journal of Indoor Air Quality and Climate, 27, (2) pp. 487-499. ISSN 0905-6947 (2017) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1111/ina.12321


Previous research has shown that indoor benzene levels in homes with attached garages are higher than homes without attached garages. Exhaust ventilation in attached garages is one possible intervention to reduce these concentrations. To evaluate the effectiveness of this intervention a randomized crossover study was conducted in 33 Ottawa homes in winter 2014. VOCs including BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes), nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and air exchange rates were measured over four 48-hour periods when a garage exhaust fan was turned on or off. A blower door test conducted in each garage was used to determine the required exhaust fan flow rate to provide a depressurization of 5Pa in each garage relative to the home. When corrected for ambient concentrations, the fan decreased geometric mean indoor benzene concentrations from 1.04 to 0.40 μg/m3 , or by 62% (p<0.05). The garage exhaust fan also significantly reduced outdoor-corrected geometric mean indoor concentrations of other pollutants, including toluene (53%), ethylbenzene (47%), m,p-xylene (45%), o-xylene (43%) and carbon monoxide (23%) (p<0.05) while having no impact on the home air exchange rate. This study provides evidence that mechanical exhaust ventilation in attached garages can reduce indoor concentrations of pollutants originating from within attached garages.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Indoor air quality, intervention, residences, benzene
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Human resources and industrial relations
Research Field:Occupational and workplace health and safety
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Wheeler, AJ (Dr Amanda Wheeler)
ID Code:110625
Year Published:2017 (online first 2016)
Web of Science® Times Cited:11
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2016-08-05
Last Modified:2022-08-29
Downloads:59 View Download Statistics

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