Know the dangers of indoor air pollutants for children

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – The danger of benzene exposure is now also need to be considered by parents. The reason is, based on collaborative research by UNAIR Faculty of Public Health lecturer Dr. Abdul Rohim Tualeka Drs., M. Kes., it is known that children who are in the indoor environment are more vulnerable to benzene exposure. “Many children spend most of their time indoors such as at daycare centers, preschools and schools. So it is more risky to be exposed to indoor air pollutants, “he said.

Abdul Rohim Tualeka revealed that the highest level of benzene was found in a preschool with a rate of 143.0 μg / m 3 . In other words, some preschool environments might be a significant source of benzene exposure. He explained, exposure to benzene in children will have an impact on health, such as leukemia; asthma; and cancer.

“This is because children are still in the process of development. Their bodies and lungs breathe more air, “he explained.

Even worse, continuous benzene exposure in infants and children between 3.4 μg / m 3 to 5.7 μg / m 3 will pose a risk of leukemia. Abdul Rohim Tualeka said that children exposed to benzene at levels ≥20 μg / m 3 were eight times more at risk of developing asthma.

However, there is no exposure threshold value (NAV) is known for the risk of benzene exposure. Over the past 15 years, there have been no specific regulations and standards for indoor air quality. “The absence of a standard data collection approach, sampling method and way of reporting data makes it difficult for us to compare findings with other studies,” he said.

According to him, several efforts can be made to reduce the level of exposure to benzene in the room. Among other things, minimize activities in the room that might produce and use benzene, such as using building materials that contain gasoline. Furthermore, adequate ventilation is needed in buildings, especially those located near heavy traffic or other benzene sources.

In the end, Abdul Rohim Tualeka said, indoor air pollutants should receive greater attention. In addition, he also suggested the development of a follow-up system on health and environmental pollution in each country to monitor and identify the sources and health effects of air pollution.

“Studies of indoor air quality related to air pollution such as benzene often do not get attention. Even though parents and children are vulnerable to this, “he concluded. (*)

Author: Erika Eight Novanty

Editor : Nuri Hermawan 

Reference : E. Syazween Junaidi, J. Jalaludin dan T. Abdul Rohim. (2019). A Review on the Exposure to Benzene among Children in Schools, Preschools and Daycare Centres. Asian Journal of Atmospheric Environment – Vol. 13, No. 3, pp.151-160. DOI: 

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