Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg.  2020 Oct;63(10):458-462. 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2019.00822.

Assessment of Indoor Air Quality in Otorhinolaryngology Clinics

  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Chuncheon Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea


Background and Objectives
Otorhinolaryngology clinics are frequently exposed to various air pollutants. This can have a potentially harmful effect on the health of the healthcare personnel. However, there is still a lack of studies on the assessment of indoor air quality in otorhinolaryngology clinics. Therefore, this study aimed to measure indoor air quality in otorhinolaryngology clinics.
Subjects and Method
In this study, we prospectively measured indoor air quality indices [particulate matter (PM), carbon dioxide (CO2), total volatile organic compounds (VOCs), PM2.5, Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and ozone] using portable passive air quality monitoring sensors in otorhinolaryngology clinics.
The mean concentrations of PM, CO2, VOCs, and NO2 were significantly higher during office hours than after; however, there was no significant differences in CO and ozone concentration between the two time periods. The proportions of tolerable to poor-quality (exceeding acceptable level) levels of CO2, total VOCs, NO2 was 25%, 25%, 12.5% during office hours, respectively. On the other hand, there was no proportion of tolerable to poor-quality level of PM, CO, ozone during office hours.
We found that otorhinolaryngology clinics are easily exposed to ambient indoor air pollution. Therefore, we suggest implement health-related protective strategies for ambient indoor air pollution in otorhinolaryngology clinics may be needed for healthcare personnel.


Air pollution; Carbon dioxide; Indoor air quality; Nitrogen dioxide; Particulate matter; Volatile organic compounds
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