Indoor air quality control at national-level regulations: A special case in Indonesia

Ahmad Gamal, Hisyam Yusril Hidayat, I. Gusti Agung Ayu Karishma Maharani Raijaya, Mardianto Natanael Wangkanusa, Budihardjo Budihardjo, Muhammad Idrus Alhamid, Nasruddin Nasruddin, Heri Hermansyah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: While many national-level governments have worked to tighten atmospheric air quality standard, the Authors observe, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) control as part of building-codes have remained understudied and not yet enforced in many national-level regulations. The COVID-19 pandemic seemed to trigger an immediate response worldwide for IAQ control. Indoor air pollutants need to be tightly regulated. International agencies have produced recommendations to cope with the pandemic, however, national-level IAQ standards and building codes have been slow to adapt. Materials and methods: IAQ regulations from various nations worldwide were studied along with the international standards: The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), and World Health Organization (WHO). A comprehensive review was conducted comparing the national-level building codes and regulations as legal implementation instruments. Focus group discussions were also conducted to complement preliminary findings and further analysis. Results: Except for Indonesia, bacteria and fungi have been categorized as infectious aerosols in many national-level regulations that fare up to the international standards as indoor air pollutants with their acceptable levels. However, while they set thresholds for pollutants, their effectiveness regulating IAQ in public buildings remain unknown. It also found that there is a significant lack of national building codes in Indonesia. Conclusion: The COVID-19 epidemic raises awareness of IAQ. The health aspect is currently being prioritized, particularly in Indonesia, where the majority of related regulations are still fragmented and prioritize energy conservation over health. This study can inform policymakers with evidence of IAQ control and practices worldwide for applicable regulatory building and implementation, as well as for health emergency and disaster risk management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-338
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Air Pollution and Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023


  • Buildings
  • Indoor air quality (IAQ)
  • Pollutants
  • Regulations
  • Standards


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