Thermal and environmental conditions in Shanghai households: Risk factors for childhood health

Huibo Zhang, Jingchao Xie, Hiroshi Yoshino, U. Yanagi, Kenichi Hasegawa, Naoki Kagi, Zhiwei Lian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


An overall investigation of children's health status, residential thermal environment, and pollutants was conducted in the homes primary school children during winter and summer in Shanghai, China. The houses were divided into Group A (unhealthy child living) and Group B (healthy child living). During a two-week monitoring period in winter, indoor temperatures in Group A were significantly lower than in Group B (1-2 °C; p < 0.001). Relative humidity (RH) of Group A were 5-8% higher than Group B (p < 0.001), and the ratio of RH > 70% of Group A was around 0.6 in winter. Bad thermal environment in Group A was a risk factor for children's health. Average winter CO2 concentrations were 758 ppm in Group A and 701 ppm in Group B, and the houses had poor ventilation during nighttime. Indoor concentrations of formaldehyde (HCHO), acetaldehyde and TVOC generally satisfied the Chinese national standards. However, indoor PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations in Group A were higher than those of Group B, and PM concentrations in all investigated houses exceeded the Chinese national standards in winter. Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and Di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) in house dust of four living rooms showed very high concentrations (3-4 times the EU recommended limit of 1000 μg/g). Aspergillus and Cladosporium in room air and house dust were linked to high RH, and could be suspected association with poor children's health. This study provides comprehensive information on indoor thermal and environmental conditions in houses in Shanghai, and their exposures of primary schoolchildren to these health risks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-46
Number of pages12
JournalBuilding and Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Aug 1


  • Children's health
  • Fungi
  • Humidity
  • Particulate matter (PM)
  • SVOC
  • VOC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction


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