Sasho Gligorovski, a research professor in Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry of CAS, suggests that advancing the scientific knowledge on indoor (photo)chemistry and resulting health effects in the coming years in China, requires stronger interactions between atmospheric chemists/physicists, and scientists from the fields of toxicology, epidemiology, and medicine.
In this viewpoint, the latest exciting findings on the HONO formation processes and OH radical production through photolysis of HONO have been reviewed and commented. For a long time, the contribution of HONO photolysis to indoor OH radicals has been overlooked and, the indoor levels of OH radicals and the resulting health impact are very likely underestimated, especially within a short time-frame or a small confined space. In China, the concentrations of indoor pollutants are 100 to 1000 times higher than that inside European and US homes, not to mention 3.1 million deaths in rural China caused by indoor air pollution every year. However, our knowledge on the processes related to OH radical formation in the indoor environments of Chines dwellings is very limited, which makes it becomes an urgent need to take actions from now on. The authors believe that, by taking full consideration of real-life indoor scenarios in China (e.g., coal burning for heating in the North China, cooking) and with the assistance of advanced experimental and analytical techniques lately emerged, comprehensive understanding on the indoor photochemistry and resulting health impact in China indoor environments is attainable in the near future.
Just as the outdoor atmospheric chemistry community has focused in recent years on developing an understanding of specific topics, such as haze and PM2.5, it is just now starting to address the photochemistry in the environment in which we live 90% of our time.
In this manner this viewpoint informs the readers of research questions of direct relevance to their lives. It also points out that this complex chemistry will become even more important as we live more and more of our lives indoors, i.e. increased indoor exposure will arise as Chinese society rapidly industrialize.
Fo r more informtaion, please see: S. Gligorovski, X. Li, H. Herrmann, Indoor (Photo)chemistry in China and Resulting Health Effects, Environ. Sci. Technol., 2018, 52, 10909–10910.