Human responses to carbon dioxide

Published on May 01, 2016 by Building and Environment

Quality Score: Low

Study Quality

This study was of low quality compared to other papers measuring the effects of carbon dioxide on cognitive performance. It's study population were 10 college students. To measure cognitive effects of carbon dioxide exposure it required students to type out pages of text, measuring their accuracy, add a series of two digit numbers together, and draw lines to connect numbers in sequence with a Tsai Partington test. These activities do not simulate typical office work. In addition, the subjects were able to start their assessments immediately after entering the room with elevated CO2, rather than having to be in the room for a period of time before beginning the tests. Also the subjects were required to wear a heart monitor belt and were in a setting that was likely very uncomfortable that could have had an effect on performance.

Contradicts Claims

Research Paper Facts


  • 2.5-hour exposure to CO2 up to 5,000 ppm did not decrease perceived air quality
  • 2.5-hour exposure to CO2 up to 5,000 ppm did not evoke acute health symptoms
  • The examined CO2 exposures did not affect performance of some cognitive tasks
  • Discomfort and building related symptoms should not be attributed to CO2

Publishing Journal

Building and Environment

Published On

May 01, 2016

Related Topics

Open Access


Study Type


Control Method


Number of Study Subjects


Funding Sources

This work was supported by Bjarne Saxhof Foundation, Key Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China (51238005), and COWI Foundation (HHT/A127.02/knl)


  • Xiaojing Zhang,
  • Pawel Wargocki,
  • Zhiwei Lian

Sponsoring Institution(s)

  • School of Naval Architecture, Ocean & Civil Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • International Centre for Indoor Environment and Energy, Civil Engineering, Technical University of Denmark

Citation and Paper Location

Zhang, Xiaojing, Pawel Wargocki, and Zhiwei Lian. "Human responses to carbon dioxide, a follow-up study at recommended exposure limits in non-industrial environments." Building and Environment 100 (2016): 162-171.

This page was last Modified on Jan 17, 2021