Spatial and temporal scales of variability for indoor air constituents

Pascale S.J. Lakey, Youngbo Won, David Shaw, Freja F. Østerstrøm, James Mattila, Emily Reidy, Brandon Bottorff, Colleen Rosales, Chen Wang, Laura Ampollini, Shan Zhou, Atila Novoselac, Tara F. Kahan, Peter F. DeCarlo, Jonathan P.D. Abbatt, Philip S. Stevens, Delphine K. Farmer, Nicola Carslaw, Donghyun Rim, Manabu Shiraiwa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Historically air constituents have been assumed to be well mixed in indoor environments, with single point measurements and box modeling representing a room or a house. Here we demonstrate that this fundamental assumption needs to be revisited through advanced model simulations and extensive measurements of bleach cleaning. We show that inorganic chlorinated products, such as hypochlorous acid and chloramines generated via multiphase reactions, exhibit spatial and vertical concentration gradients in a room, with short-lived ⋅OH radicals confined to sunlit zones, close to windows. Spatial and temporal scales of indoor constituents are modulated by rates of chemical reactions, surface interactions and building ventilation, providing critical insights for better assessments of human exposure to hazardous pollutants, as well as the transport of indoor chemicals outdoors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110
JournalCommunications Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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