Currently, major knowledge gaps remain regarding exposure to fine and ultrafine particles in indoor air. Industrial environments are a special case study, given the broad range of sources and processes with potential to generate particle emissions and therefore exposure to these contaminants. However, to date, studies on air quality in this kind of environments are relatively scarce in the scientific literature, while these indoor emissions have a large potential for improvement to reduce impacts on air quality, health, and possibly climate. The overall objective of the PREDEXPIN project is to assess the impact of industrial activities on air quality and exposure to micro- (PM) and nanoparticles (NP) in indoor air. To this end, the mechanisms controlling particle release to workplace air in industrial environments and their impact on personal exposure will be evaluated in a number of selected indoor industrial processes under real-world operating conditions at pilot plant-scale.
The ultimate goal of the project is to improve indoor air quality in industrial environments by achieving a better understanding of the release mechanisms of particles in indoor air, which will in turn allow for the design and implementation of adequate and tailored mitigation strategies. The project will have a major impact on four main areas: (a) the assessment of the levels of exposure to micro- and nano-scaled particulates in industrial environments; (b) increased understanding of the release mechanisms and processes of particles in indoor and outdoor air from industrial activities; (c) mitigation of the impacts of these emissions on indoor air quality and on worker exposure, by developing effective mitigation strategies; (d) the optimisation of industrial processes by increasing their efficiency through the reduction of fugitive emissions.