Researchers warned that Indoor levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) could be clouding our thinking and may even pose a wider danger to human health also affecting cognitive performance.
A research suggests CO2 levels as low as 1,000ppm could cause health problems, even if exposure only lasts for a few hours. The team say crowded or poorly ventilated classrooms, office environments and bedrooms have all been found to have levels of CO2.
“Indoor environments are of much more concern presently and for many people that is where they spend 60-80% of their time,” said Hernke, although projections suggest by 2100 some large cities might reach outdoor CO2 levels of 1,000ppm for parts of the year.
The team additionally looked at the impact of CO2 levels on animals, finding that a few hours’ exposure to 2,000 ppm was linked to inflammatory responses that could lead to damage to blood vessels.
There is also tentative evidence suggesting that prolonged exposure to levels between 2,000 and 3,000ppm is linked to effects including stress, kidney calcification and bone demineralization.
The team add that rising outdoor levels of CO2 will mean rising indoor levels – a situation that could be exacerbated by greater use of certain air-conditioning units, people spending more time inside, energy-saving building techniques, and increasing urbanization.
Dr Gary Fuller, an air pollution scientist at King’s College London, said CO2 levels reached 1,000ppm, he said, they often exceeded 750ppm along busy roads. “Unless we decarbonise heating and transport then these peaks will worsen as the global background increases,” he said.