Ventilation and Cognitive Performance (11-04-21)

Research on topics related to workplace ventilation continues.  A Laurent-lead team reports that their goal was “to understand whether cognitive function was associated with real-time indoor concentrations of particulate matter (PM2.5) and carbon dioxide (CO2). We conducted a prospective observational longitudinal study among 302 office workers in urban commercial buildings located in six countries (China, India, Mexico, Thailand, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom). For 12 months, [we] assessed cognitive function. . . . We found that higher PM2.5 and lower ventilation rates, as assessed by CO2 concentration, were associated with slower response times and reduced accuracy (fewer correct responses per minute). . . . Enhanced filtration and higher ventilation rates that exceed current minimum targets are essential public health strategies that may improve employee productivity.”

Jose Laurent, Piers MacNaughton, Emily Jones, Anna Young, Maya Bliss, Skye Flanigan, Jose Vallarino, Ling Chen, Xiaodong Cao, and Joseph Allen. 2021.  “Associations Between Acute Exposures to PM2.5 and Carbon Dioxide Indoors and Cognitive Function in Office Workers:  A Multicountry Longitudinal Prospective Observational Study.”  Environmental Research Letters, vol. 16, no. 6,