The Danger of Toxic Substances

M. V. Jokl


Toxic (harmful) gases enter building interiors partly from outdoors (sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, ozone, smog and acid rains), partly originate indoors - as a result of human activity (carbon monoxide, tobacco smoke, nitrogen oxides, ozone, hydrocarbons) and also emanate from building materials (formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds). The human organism is most often exposed to cigarette smoke (especially nonsmokers are endangered, as cigarette smoke devastes the pulmonary and cardiovasculary system) and to smog entering from outdoors, paradoxically during sunny weather. Preventing toxic production is the most effective measure, e.g., by coaxing to coax smokers out of "civilized" areas, by using energy rationally (i.e., conserving energy), to turn to pure fuels and to increase energy production by non-combustion technologies. Besides ventilation and air filtration, the toxic gases can be removed to a remarkable extent by plants (by which decay the substances into nontoxic gases), and by air ionization. Review article.


toxic substances; hygienic problem of buildings; health problem within buildings; sick building syndrome

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ISSN 1210-2709 (Print)
ISSN 1805-2363 (Online)
Published by the Czech Technical University in Prague