Most of the time people stay in confined environments and thus are highly exposed to accumulated indoor pollutants. Indoor environmental pollution has been identified as one of the most prevalent causes for health problems, such as sick building syndrome. These health problems have been magnified with the introduction of energy efficient building concepts, coupled with limited fresh air supply, which has compromised the effective means of air purification. Further, the frequent use of chemical substances for numerous purposes contributes to indoor air pollution. Therefore, investigation of alternative techniques to improve indoor environmental quality has been extensively studied in the last two decades. In Sri Lanka, there is a potential for studying indigenous techniques to improve indoor air quality. However, verification of such techniques and quantification of their impacts has not been given much attention. The research focus of this paper is to identify those material substances that can be used to absorb pollutants and lessen their harmful impacts and thereby improve air purification. A chamber study was used to quantify air purification using different material substances and considering the following parameters: total volatile organic compound (TVOC) and Carbon Monoxide (CO) levels. Further, the results obtained in the chamber study were assessed for its projection to real applications by comparison with a study conducted in an actual indoor space. The outcome of the study has revealed that the indigenous knowledge of Sri Lanka can be used to improve indoor air quality.

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Author notes

1. 1-2. Department of Civil Engineering, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka shanikasumanasekara347@gmail.com; chintha@uom.lk