Environmental Technology Division, School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia


This paper investigates the quality of air in chosen offices located in the food industry. The parameters including temperature, relative humidity, air velocity, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, total volatile organic compound, particulate matter 10 and 2.5 micron and total bacterial counts were measured in three offices within the premises of the industry. The three offices were administrative office, engineer office and screening office. Measurements were carried out for eight hours per day for days chosen in six months. The results were compared with a standard called Industry Code of Practice on Indoor Air Quality 2010 by Department of Occupational Safety and Health, Malaysia. All parameters measured in three offices were complied with the standard except for temperature and air velocity in screening office, which were 27.26 °C and 0.62 m s-1 respectively and CO2 concentration in administrative office, which was 1139.71 ppm. This suggests that the processes in this food industry which might emit PM, VOC were not contributing to the pollutant levels in the offices. The exceeded temperature in screening office was due to the air-conditioner setting and the exceeded air velocity was due to the influence of mechanical fan. The CO2 was due to the poor ventilation rate that provided insufficient fresh air intake which led to the accumulation of CO2 in administrative office.  


1.             Robinson, J. and W. Nelson, National human activity pattern survey data base. USEPA, Research Triangle Park, NC, 1995.
2.             Sharpe, M., Safe as houses? Indoor air pollution and health. Journal of environmental monitoring: JEM, 2004. 6(5): p. 46N-49N.
3.             Alsmo, T. and C. Alsmo, Ventilation and Relative Humidity in Swedish Buildings. Journal of Environmental Protection, 2014. 5(11): p. 1022.
4.             Lee, S.-C., et al., Inter-comparison of air pollutant concentrations in different indoor environments in Hong Kong. Atmospheric Environment, 2002. 36(12): p. 1929-1940.
5.             Chan, W., et al., Indoor air quality in new hotels’ guest rooms of the major world factory region. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 2009. 28(1): p. 26-32.
6.             Saraga, D., et al., Studying the indoor air quality in three non-residential environments of different use: a museum, a printery industry and an office. Building and Environment, 2011. 46(11): p. 2333-2341.
7.             Muhamad-Darus, F., A. Zain-Ahmed, and M. Talib, Preliminary assessment of indoor air quality in terrace houses. Health Environ J, 2011. 2(2): p. 8-14.
8.             Tsai, M.-Y. and H.-M. Liu, Exposure to culturable airborne bioaerosols during noodle manufacturing in central Taiwan. Science of the Total Environment, 2009. 407(5): p. 1536-1546.
9.             Jones, A.P., Indoor air quality and health. Atmospheric environment, 1999. 33(28): p. 4535-4564.
10.          Siti, H.I. and M. Baba, Indoor air quality issues for non-industrial work place. International Journal of Research and Reviews in Applied Sciences, 2010. 5(3): p. 235-244.
11.          Lee, S. and M. Chang, Indoor and outdoor air quality investigation at schools in Hong Kong. Chemosphere, 2000. 41(1): p. 109-113.
12.          Li, W.-M., S.C. Lee, and L.Y. Chan, Indoor air quality at nine shopping malls in Hong Kong. Science of the Total Environment, 2001. 273(1): p. 27-40.
13.          Du, Y., et al., Air particulate matter and cardiovascular disease: the epidemiological, biomedical and clinical evidence. Journal of thoracic disease, 2016. 8(1): p. E8.
14.          Ponsoni, K. and M.S.G. Raddi, Indoor Air quality related to occupancy at an air-conditioned public building. Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology, 2010. 53(1): p. 99-103.
15.          Leitte, A.M., et al., Respiratory health, effects of ambient air pollution and its modification by air humidity in Drobeta-Turnu Severin, Romania. Science of the Total Environment, 2009. 407(13): p. 4004-4011.
16.          Tai, A.P., L.J. Mickley, and D.J. Jacob, Correlations between fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) and meteorological variables in the United States: Implications for the sensitivity of PM 2.5 to climate change. Atmospheric Environment, 2010. 44(32): p. 3976-3984.
17.          Yan, S., et al., Spatial and temporal characteristics of air quality and air pollutants in 2013 in Beijing. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 2016. 23(14): p. 13996-14007.
18.          Matković, K., et al., Concentrations of airborne bacteria and fungi in a livestock building with caged laying hens. Veterinarski arhiv, 2013. 83(4): p. 413-424.
19.          Popescu, S., C. Borda, and E. Diugan, Microbiological air contamination in different types of housing systems for laying hens. ProEnvironment, 2013. 6(16): p. 549-555.