This study examined indoor nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations in Ashford, Kent (UK), Menorca Island and Barcelona city (Spain) and the contribution of their most important indoor determinants (e.g. gas combustion appliances and cigarette smoking). The homes examined (n = 1421) were those from infants recruited for the Asthma Multicentre Infants Cohort Study, which aimed to assess, using a standard protocol, the effects of pre- and post-natal environmental exposures in the inception of atopy and asthma. Indoor NO 2 was measured using passive filter badges placed on a living room wall of the homes for between 7 and 15 days. Homes in the three centers had significantly different concentrations of indoor NO2, with those in Barcelona showing the highest levels (median NO2 levels: 5.79, 6.06 and 23.87 p.p.b. in Ashford, Menorca and Barcelona, respectively). Multiple regression analysis showed that the principal indoor determinants of NO 2 concentrations in the three cohorts were the heating/cooking fuel used in the house (gas fire increased average NO2 concentrations by 1.27-fold and gas cooker by 2.13 times), parental cigarette smoking and season of measurement. Those variables significantly related to indoor NO2 accounted for 23, 14 and 39% of the variation in indoor NO2 concentration in Ashford, Barcelona and Menorca, respectively. In all the cohorts combined, 52% of the variation could be explained in this way. Although outdoor NO2 was not measured concurrently, its additional contribution was estimated. In conclusion, despite differences in indoor NO 2 mean concentrations probably reflecting different outdoor NO 2 level, home factors affecting indoor NO2 values and their specific contributions were constant across the three cohorts. © Indoor Air (2004).
- Indoor air
- Nitrogen dioxide