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Indoor Air Quality

A. The importance of “indoor air quality”

Everyone almost spends about 80~90% a day in the indoor environment (including in homes, offices or other buildings) in Taiwan. Good or poor indoor air quality affects directly the quality and efficiency of work. Therefore, it should be emphasized that the impact of indoor air pollutants on human beings’ health. To improve indoor air quality more effectively is useful to protect our health.

In recent years, these issues of indoor air health hazards have gradually attracted people attentions, especially the changes in popular lifestyles in the past two to thirty years. People enjoy comfort and convenience ways through air-conditioning monitoring systems either in confined living spaces or office spaces, but following has also produced the problem of "Sick Building Syndrome". If the indoor ventilation is insufficient, pollutants will easily accumulate and cause deterioration of indoor air quality in closed buildings. The World Health Organization defines "Sick Building Syndrome" as: "Any abnormal human body symptoms caused by air pollution in buildings, such as neurotoxic symptoms (including irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, etc.), odor, asthma attacks, etc ." in 1982.

In addition, lots of factors that affect indoor air quality may come from outdoor pollutants, including exhaust gas from outdoor automobiles and factories, or microorganisms that breed due to the external air intake or filter of the central air-conditioning system that is not cleaned regularly. Molds and bacteria are especially prone to breed in Taiwan, because it is located in the subtropical zone and has a long-term humid and high temperature climate. Therefore, buildings must pay more attention to the regular maintenance of air conditioning and ventilation systems.

B. Control and promotion of indoor air quality

In order to promote and implement the "Indoor Air Quality Management Act", in accordance with Article 6 of the "Indoor Air Quality Management Act", the Taiwan Ministry of Environment (MOENV) comprehensively consider the numbers of public gatherings, the numbers of entrances and exits, the risks of indoor air pollutants, and the special needs of places in public and private places. "The first batch of announcement places that should comply with the Indoor Air Quality Management Act" (hereinafter referred to as this announcement) was announced on January 23, 2014, as the basis for the objects subject to this Act, and at the same time, to further cooperate with the "Standards of Indoor Air Quality" and "Regulations of Indoor air quality inspection", a supplementary table 1 was drawn up to list the indoor air pollutant items of the announcement category and the scope of indoor space control. In addition, in order to expand control, "the second batch of announcement places that should comply with the Indoor Air Quality Management Law" was announced on January 11, 2017. In addition to expanding the scope of the first batch of 10 types of places that have been announced, including: universities and colleges, libraries, medical institutions, social welfare institutions, offices of government agencies, railway stations, civil airports, MRT stations, exhibition rooms, shopping malls, Further increase the control of 6 types of places such as museums and art galleries, business premises of financial institutions, performance halls, cinema, Audiovisual singing industry venues, and sports and fitness places.

After the issuance of this announcement, the regulated announcement sites shall handle the maintenance and management of indoor air quality in accordance with this act. In order to reduce the impact caused by the issuance of the act, a reasonable buffer period is given to the obligors of the announcement place to handle the obligations stipulated by the act, such as establish a plan of indoor air quality maintenance management, and regularly implement indoor air quality inspections and measurements. The MOENV also called on the announcement sites to prepare for indoor air quality management as soon as possible to comply with the requirements of the “Indoor Air Quality Management Act”.

Figure 1 shows promotion of indoor air quality management recently. There are about 1,500 Controlled locations in Taiwan.
Figure 2 shows types of managed sites and control indoor air pollutants that include carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, bacterial, coarse suspended particles and carbon dioxide.
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