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Always well ventilated
Date:6/11/2014

This news release is available in German.

Unpleasant odors, stuffy air or permanent drafts: A person who is regularly exposed at home or in the office to bad air doesn't feel well. Odors from carpets, paints, varnishes and furniture, as well as mold, or air which is too dry, affect the indoor climate. "There are no materials without emissions and odors," explains Dr. Andrea Burdack-Freitag, sensory expert at the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP in Valley near Holzkirchen, Germany. "Not all substances that are emitted into the air are harmful. However, sometimes we suffer from watery eyes, sore throat or headache." A trigger for such unpleasant consequences can be dry air or volatile organic compounds: VOCs for short (Volatile Organic Compounds), such as formaldehyde. VOCs are present in almost every component, such as in the form of solvents. "If complaints occur or if there is a continually unpleasant odor, we analyze the emissions that affect the air quality and we look for the cause," explains the researcher. To do so, she and her colleagues from the Chemistry and Sensor Technology Group employ sensors and measuring devices which have been specially conceived for air quality measurement.

New Indoor Air Test Center under construction

How is pollution through VOCs or CO2 distributed in a room? What are the flow conditions and how is the ventilation? Based on their investigations, the scientists develop ingenious ventilation systems together with industry partners. Later this year, the IBP researchers want to open the new Indoor Air Test Center. "There, we can purposefully pollute the air with biological and chemical substances as well as with particles of different sizes and shapes, produce temperatures of up to 80 degrees Celsius,
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Contact: Thomas Kirmayr
thomas.kirmayr@ibp.fraunhofer.de
49-802-464-3250
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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