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CONCRETE BLOCKS' ADVERSE EFFECTS ON INDOOR AIR AND RECOMMENDED SOLUTIONS
Ruppersberger*, J. S. CONCRETE BLOCKS' ADVERSE EFFECTS ON INDOOR AIR AND RECOMMENDED SOLUTIONS. JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING 121(4):348-356, (1995).
Air infiltration through highly permeable concrete blocks can allow entry of various serious indoor air pollutants. An easy approach to avoiding these pollutants is to select a less–air-permeable concrete block. Tests show that air permeability of concrete blocks can vary by a factor greater than 50 (0.63–35 standard L/min/m 2 at 3 Pa). The surface texture of the blocks correlates well with air permeability; test results of smoother, closed-surface-texture blocks were usually less air-permeable. During construction, air infiltration can be minimized by capping walls and carefully sealing around openings for utilities or other penetrations. Structures with indoor air-quality problems due to soil-gas entry can be mitigated more effectively with less coating material if the blocks have a closed surface texture. All coatings evaluated—cementaceous block filler (which has the lowest applied cost and is more than 99.5% effective), surface bonding cement, water-based epoxy, polysulfide vinyl acrylic, and latex (three coats)—were highly effective (more than 98%) in reducing air permeability when adequately applied. Coating selection should be influenced by expected service life, considering surface condition and cost.
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Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY
AIR POLLUTION PREVENTION AND CONTROL DIVISION