Portuguese National Health Institute Doutor Ricardo Jorge

Porto, Portugal

Portuguese National Health Institute Doutor Ricardo Jorge

Porto, Portugal
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Mendes A.,Portuguese National Health Institute Doutor Ricardo Jorge | Bonassi S.,Unit of Clinical and Molecular Epidemiology | Aguiar L.,Portuguese National Health Institute Doutor Ricardo Jorge | Pereira C.,Portuguese National Health Institute Doutor Ricardo Jorge | And 7 more authors.
Urban Climate | Year: 2014

This study explored environmental variables and buildings characteristics in 22 elderly care centers (ECCs) in Portugal. Indoor environmental parameters were measured twice for a total of 141 sampling sites. Each site was assessed for PM10, PM2.5, total volatile organic compounds (TVOC), formaldehyde, CO, CO2, total bacteria and fungi. Thermal comfort (TC) parameters were measured according to ISO 7730:2005 and a building characterization was performed. The overall PM2.5 mean concentration of the 22 ECC was above international reference levels in summer and winter seasons. TVOC, bacteria, CO and CO2 showed significantly higher indoor levels compared to outdoor, in both seasons. Indoor PM10, TVOC, bacteria and CO2 present significant differences between seasons. TVOC, bacteria and CO2 show significant variation between ECC rooms and 4% of fungi samples were positive for pathogenic Aspergillus species. The winter predicted mean vote (PMV) index showed a 'slightly cool' thermal sensation scale which may potentiate respiratory tract infections. The predicted percent of dissatisfied people (PPD) and PMV indices show significant differences by season. The building variables 'Insulation', 'Heating Ventilation' and 'Windows frames' were significantly associated to chemical, biological and TC parameters. 'Bacteria', 'Fungi', 'Temperature', Relative Humidity', and 'PPD index' are the mostly affected by building characteristics. Insulating ceilings, walls, and windows could improve winter season TC, providing health benefits to ECC residents. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Mendes A.,Portuguese National Health Institute Doutor Ricardo Jorge | Aelenei D.,New University of Lisbon | Papoila A.L.,New University of Lisbon | Carreiro-Martins P.,New University of Lisbon | And 12 more authors.
Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health - Part A: Current Issues | Year: 2014

Children attending day care centers (CDCC) have been reported to be more prone to infectious diseases when compared with those cared for at home, and are exposed to conditions that may increase the risk of allergies and asthma. Several studies revealed that consequences of poor ventilation conditions include high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) and many other indoor pollutants commonly detected in schools. Nine child day care centers were selected randomly to participate in this study. Fifty-two classrooms were assessed for chemical, biological, physical, and allergen parameters in spring and winter seasons in these nine CDCC located in Porto, Portugal. Outdoor measurements were also conducted for comparison. Our results indicated that (i) particulate matter (PM10) median levels were above the national reference levels, both by classroom type and by season; (ii) TVOC kindergarten peak values may raise some concern; (iii) CO2 was present at high median and maximum levels during spring and winter assessment in both nurseries and kindergartens classrooms; (iv) total bacteria concentrations were 57- and 52-fold higher in the nursery and kindergarten than outdoors, respectively, for the spring season; (v) winter and spring median predicted mean vote (PMV) indices were between "neutral" (0) and "slightly cool" (≤ -1) in the thermal sensation scale for comfort situations (-2 to 2) for both types of classrooms; (vi) there were significant differences for both PMV and predicted percentage of dissatisfied (PPD) indices by season; and (vii) CO 2, total bacteria, and gram-negative bacteria were associated with low airflow rates. These data will help to evaluate the effectiveness of current building operation practices in child day care centers regarding indoor air quality and respiratory health. Copyright © 2014 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


Mendes A.,Portuguese National Health Institute Doutor Ricardo Jorge | Pereira C.,Portuguese National Health Institute Doutor Ricardo Jorge | Mendes D.,Portuguese National Health Institute Doutor Ricardo Jorge | Aguiar L.,Portuguese National Health Institute Doutor Ricardo Jorge | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health - Part A: Current Issues | Year: 2013

The age of the European population is rising and percentage of adults aged 65 years and older is projected to increase from 16% in 2000 to 20% in 2020. It has been estimated that older subjects spend approximately 19 to 20 h/d indoors. Older individuals may be particularly at risk for detrimental effects from pollutants, even at low concentrations, due to reduced immunological defenses and multiple underlying chronic diseases. Six Porto, Portugal, urban area elderly care centers (ECC), housing a total of 425 older persons, were studied to assess indoor air quality (IAQ) and thermal comfort (TC) in two seasons. This study presents the IAQ and TC results in 36 rooms and constitutes part of a wider and ongoing study. The study areas were all naturally ventilated, and indoor concentrations in winter were within Portuguese reference values. However, 42% of the participants were dissatisfied with indoor thermal conditions, rating it "slightly cool." In summer, the index rate of dissatisfied individuals was lower (8%). Significant differences were found between seasons in predicted percent of dissatisfied people (PPD) and predicted mean vote (PMV) indices. Fungal concentrations frequently exceeded reference levels (>500 colony-forming units [CFU]/m3). In addition, other pollutants occasionally exceeded reference levels. To our knowledge, this is the first study in Portugal to assess effects of indoor air contaminants on the health status and quality of life in older subjects living in ECC. Although IAQ and TC parameters were mostly within reference values, the results suggest a need to improve the balance between IAQ and TC in ECC, a critical environment housing a susceptible population. © 2013 Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


PubMed | Portuguese National Health Institute Doutor Ricardo Jorge
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of toxicology and environmental health. Part A | Year: 2013

The age of the European population is rising and percentage of adults aged 65 years and older is projected to increase from 16% in 2000 to 20% in 2020. It has been estimated that older subjects spend approximately 19 to 20 h/d indoors. Older individuals may be particularly at risk for detrimental effects from pollutants, even at low concentrations, due to reduced immunological defenses and multiple underlying chronic diseases. Six Porto, Portugal, urban area elderly care centers (ECC), housing a total of 425 older persons, were studied to assess indoor air quality (IAQ) and thermal comfort (TC) in two seasons. This study presents the IAQ and TC results in 36 rooms and constitutes part of a wider and ongoing study. The study areas were all naturally ventilated, and indoor concentrations in winter were within Portuguese reference values. However, 42% of the participants were dissatisfied with indoor thermal conditions, rating it slightly cool. In summer, the index rate of dissatisfied individuals was lower (8%). Significant differences were found between seasons in predicted percent of dissatisfied people (PPD) and predicted mean vote (PMV) indices. Fungal concentrations frequently exceeded reference levels (>500 colony-forming units [CFU]/m(3)). In addition, other pollutants occasionally exceeded reference levels. To our knowledge, this is the first study in Portugal to assess effects of indoor air contaminants on the health status and quality of life in older subjects living in ECC. Although IAQ and TC parameters were mostly within reference values, the results suggest a need to improve the balance between IAQ and TC in ECC, a critical environment housing a susceptible population.


Aguiar L.,Portuguese National Health Institute Doutor Ricardo Jorge | Mendes A.,Portuguese National Health Institute Doutor Ricardo Jorge | Pereira C.,Portuguese National Health Institute Doutor Ricardo Jorge | Neves P.,Portuguese National Health Institute Doutor Ricardo Jorge | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health - Part A: Current Issues | Year: 2014

Indoor air quality (IAQ) affects health particularly in susceptible individuals such as the elderly. It has been estimated that the older population spends approximately 19-20 h/d indoors, and the majority of the elderly spend all of their time indoors in elderly care centers (ECC). Older individuals may be particularly at risk of exposure to detrimental effects from pollutants, even at low concentrations, due to common and multiple underlying chronic diseases that increase susceptibility. This study, aimed to assess the impact of indoor biological agents in 22 ECC located in Porto, was conducted during summer and winter from November 2011 to August 2013 at a total of 141 areas within dining rooms, drawing rooms, medical offices, and bedrooms (including the bedridden). Air sampling was carried out with a microbiological air sampler (Merck MAS-100) and using tryptic soy agar for bacteria and malt extract agar for fungi. The results obtained were compared with the recently revised Portuguese standards. In winter, mean fungi concentration exceeded reference values, while bacteria concentrations were within the new standards in both seasons. The main fungi species found indoors were Cladosporium (73%) in summer and Penicillium (67%) in winter. Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus niger, and Aspergillus flavus, known potential pathogenic/toxigenic species, were also identified. Although the overall rate and mean values of bacteria and fungi found in ECC indoor air met Portuguese legislation, some concern is raised by the presence of pathogenic microorganisms. Simple measures, like opening windows and doors to promote air exchange and renewal, may improve effectiveness in enhancing IAQ. Copyright © 2014 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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