Determinants of indoor benzene in Europe

H. K. Lai, M. J. Jantunen, N. Künzli, E. Kulinskaya, R. Colvile, M. J. Nieuwenhuijsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


This study identified the key determinants associated with the indoor benzene concentrations that were measured between 1996 and 2000 using the EXPOLIS protocol in the residences of six European cities, including Athens (Greece), Basel (Switzerland), Helsinki (Finland), Milan (Italy), Oxford (United Kingdom), and Prague (Czech Republic). Two consecutive days of home indoor and home outdoor measurements of benzene were carried out at the homes of adult participants on different dates and seasons during the sampling period. Regression models, with interactions searched by all-possible subset method, were used to assess the city effects and the determinants of home indoor benzene (adjusted R2=0.57, n=412). Outdoor benzene concentrations, outdoor temperature, wind speed, the use of anti-moth products, and indoor smoking in terms of number of cigarettes consumed per day were shown to be the key determinants of indoor benzene concentrations. The model was further used to predict the indoor benzene levels in cities. Non-linear relationships were commonly found, indicating that a unit change in the indoor concentration cannot be simply estimated by a proportional change of the determinant, and the pattern of relationships could be differed in different places. This finding is important in formulating indoor air quality guidelines as well as calculating an accurate health risk estimate based on the estimates of population's lifetime exposure levels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9128-9135
Number of pages8
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007

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