James R. Druzik
Air quality within museums and historical houses, at any one time, represents the sum total of all pollutants coming in from the outside environment plus all pollutants generated within, minus the sum of all processes which extract both. Therefore, indoor air quality is a dynamic process that varies not only by hourly, daily, weekly, and seasonal patterns but also as a function of facilities usage, exhibition schedules and maintenance. It is this ever changing character which makes estimation of air quality, particularly difficult to determine, and has coined the concept of the “building ecology” approach to indoor air quality.
For pollutants generated indoors, there are two broad classes of mitigation strategies – chemical approaches – which eliminate reactive species by adsorption, absorption, or chemical transformations, and mechanical approaches – which dilutes the concentrations of reactive gases or act as barriers that slow down their release rates. Since mechanical approaches are relatively simple to understand and easy to implement, they should be readily integrated into any abatement plan.