John Libbey Eurotext

Environnement, Risques & Santé


An indoor air quality index: Towards a culture of health risk assessment Volume 7, issue 5, Septembre-Octobre 2008

Centre scientifique et technique du bâtiment, 4, avenue du Recteur-Poincaré, 75782 Paris cedex, France, EUREKA Conseil, 79, chemin la croix, 97417 La Montagne La Réunion

This article presents the results of a qualitative survey in social and environmental psychology conducted by the French Observatory of Indoor Air Quality (OQAI). The aim of this research was to identify the needs, expectations, and motivations, as well as the fears and reservations, of a sector of building professionals related to the development of an indoor air quality (IAQ) index intended to communicate and manage indoor air pollution in buildings. For this survey, we conducted semi-directive interviews with building managers (for schools, housing, and offices), personnel at the Ministries of health, the environment, and construction, as well as experts involved in IAQ. Content analysis of these interviews highlighted four main themes: 1) their representation of an IAQ index is primarily as a threat, and the perceived risks are as numerous as the perceived stakes; 2) they expect that any index will be adapted to specific environments rather than be standardized; 3) the behavioural dimension must be taken into account in risk management; 4) the conditions by which they can master and adopt the index must be considered.