Clean and bright: effects of photochemistry and surface cleaning on indoor air composition

Date: September 15, 2023 12:00 pm (ET)


  • Tara Kahan
    University of Saskatchewan

Abstract: Indoor air quality is as important as outdoor air quality, but it is less well understood. Photochemistry drives chemistry outdoors, but its importance indoors is poorly constrained. We have thoroughly characterized indoor photon fluxes as a function of light source and location, and have investigated the impacts of factors such as scattering and solar zenith angle on indoor photochemical rate constants. We have also investigated the effects of the use of common surface disinfectants on indoor air composition and oxidation. We show that common disinfection practices can lead to high exposure risks, sometimes for extended time periods. Further, photolysis of some cleaning product emissions may result in elevated radical concentrations, temporarily increasing oxidative capacity. This work may help improve predictions of air composition and quality under the rapidly-changing conditions that are common indoors.