IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

Analytical evaluation of the dispersion of polluting emissions from building stacks


The occasional introduction of polluting emissions into buildings by fresh air intakes is one of the main causes of the poor air quality in some workplaces, which can have harmful effects on people’s health, particularly those who work in laboratories or hospital establishments. Computer models are commonly used to determine whether existing or expected industrial installations comply or will comply with the American National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) or the standards of other countries. These models also promote the development of effective control strategies for reducing emissions of harmful atmospheric pollutants.

The authors of this report evaluated the use of the different atmospheric dispersion models approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to model the dispersion of stack effluents in order to determine their concentration at various locations on the roofs where they originate. The results were compared to those obtained in a wind tunnel and in the field. The authors produce an assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of the studied dispersion models according to each configuration, and suggest the one best adapted to each situation.

Additional Information

Type: Project
Number: 0099-6120
Status: Completed
Year of completion: 2009
  • Ted Stathopoulos (Université Concordia)
  • Chantal Dion (IRSST)
  • Bodhisatta Hajra (Université Concordia)