Indoor air quality investigation and health risk assessment at correctional institutions



A comprehensive indoor air–quality (IAQ) investigation was conducted at a state correctional facility in New Jersey, USA with a lengthy history of IAQ problems. The IAQ investigation comprised preliminary indoor air screening using direct readout instrumentation, indoor air/surface wipe sampling and laboratory analysis, as well as a heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system evaluation, and a building envelope survey. In addition to air sampling, a human health risk assessment was performed to evaluate the potential for exposure to site-related air contaminants with respect to the inmate and worker populations. The risk assessment results for the prison facility indicated the potential for significant health risks for the inmate population, possibly reflecting the effects of their confinement and extended exposure to indoor air contaminants, as compared to the prison guard and worker population. Based on the results of the risk assessment, several mitigation measures are recommended to minimize prison population health risks and improve indoor air quality at prison facilities.