Association between human health and indoor air pollution in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries: A review

Patrick Amoatey, Hamid Omidvarborna, Mahad Said Baawain, Abdullah Al-Mamun, Aynul Bari, Warren B. Kindzierski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Studies on the assessment of indoor air pollutants in terms of concentration and characterization in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have been recently carried out. This review assesses the health effects associated with indoor air pollution exposures in GCC, including other air pollutants (siloxanes, flame retardants, synthetic phenolic antioxidants) which were not explored in a previous study. In addition, the influence of ventilation conditions due to different indoor environments was also investigated. It was revealed that there is a lack of human health assessment studies on most indoor air pollutants in almost all GCC countries, except the United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, where few attempts were made for some specific pollutants. Commonly reported plausible health effects potentially associated with indoor air pollution were related to respiratory symptoms and sick building syndrome (SBS). Many of the current health assessment studies in GCC countries were based on predictions and/or estimates of exposures rather than clinically based observational studies. Measured ventilation levels and indoor air velocities in most buildings failed to meet the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) threshold limits of 8 L/s/p and 0.18-0.25 m/s, respectively. Additionally, limited studies have investigated respiratory symptoms and SBS potentially attributable to poor ventilation in the region. It is highly recommended that future indoor air quality (IAQ) studies in GCC should focus more on epidemiologic and intervention studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-171
Number of pages15
JournalReviews on Environmental Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2020


  • GCC countries
  • health assessment
  • indoor air pollution
  • respiratory symptons
  • ventilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Association between human health and indoor air pollution in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries: A review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this