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The effects of ventilation and building characteristics on indoor air quality in waterpipe cafés


To determine the concentration of carbon monoxide (CO) and particulate matter (PMs), indoor air samples were collected from 60 waterpipe cafés in Ardabil city of Iran. Moreover, the influence of several structural, operational, and ventilation system were evaluated on the concentration of the selected pollutants. The results showed that the mean concentration of CO (12.0 ± 7.2 mg/m3) and PMs (PM1 = 171.5 ± 119.6 μg/m3, PM2.5 = 303.3 ± 201.9 μg/m3, PM10 = 440.3 ± 272.2 μg/m3) were notably higher than the guideline levels. According to the results, open face/café area was influenced by the natural ventilation rate and the mean air exchange rate was 3.1 ± 1.1 min−1. The natural ventilation has a functional role on air quality of the cafes, and fan-type mechanical ventilation was influencing factor on CO concentration when the natural ventilation was restricted. “Type of used charcoal” had the highest influence on the releasing of pollutants inside the cafés as the pollutant concentrations were lower for simple (raw) charcoal compared with the favored (aromatic) one. The results indicated that the building characteristics and natural ventilation considerably affect air quality of the cafes.

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The authors declare their gratitude to funding support of this research work by Ardabil University of medical sciences.

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KN and RR participated in the conceptualization and design of the research and supervised the work. BS and SN are responsible for sampling, experimental analysis, and interpretation of data. HA and MF wrote the first draft of paper. All authors have read and approved the final paper as submitted.

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Correspondence to Mehdi Fazlzadeh or Behzad Saranjam.

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Rostami, R., Naddafi, K., Arfaeinia, H. et al. The effects of ventilation and building characteristics on indoor air quality in waterpipe cafés. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 30, 805–813 (2020).

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  • Particulate matter
  • CO
  • Smoking
  • Ventilation
  • Indoor air quality

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