BETTA22: Building Exhaust’s Transfer to Toronto’s Air 2022

The BETTA22 research project aims to determine the occurrence and level of chemicals which leave the buildings and find their way to the ambient air. These chemicals can originate from various sources, including but not limited to construction materials, furniture, and some residents’ activities like cooking, bathing, smoking, etc. While the impact of an individual building on air pollution is negligible, the combination of thousands of buildings in urban areas could lead to significant air quality issues. This study will help to inform the researchers, policymakers, urban planners, builders, and residents about the potential influence of building emissions on Toronto’s air quality and how to mitigate the possible adverse effects.  

BETTA22 (Building Exhaust’s Transfer to Toronto’s Air 2022) is run by the Southern Ontario Centre for Atmospheric Aerosol Research (SOCAAR) research group. SOCAAR is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of researchers based at the University of Toronto.

Since July 2021, we have implemented pilot versions of BETAA22 in downtown Toronto. Now, we are looking for new volunteers living in the Greater Toronto Area who will allow us to take air samples from the ventilation openings of their buildings. The study will not include any sampling from non of the indoor premises of the buildings. 

If you are interested in BETTA22 as a building owner, manager, or resident in coordination with the management of the building where you live, please click here to sign up. We will be shortly in contact with you.

Click here to find out more about taking part in this study.

This study addresses the following questions:

  • How does the chemical composition of the air leaving the buildings through the ventilation exhaust ducts compare with the fresh ambient air entering the buildings?
  • What is the occurrence level of some key chemicals shown in former studies to be associated with consumer goods like pesticides, personal care products, paint, etc., within air streams leaving the buildings through ventilation ducts?
  • What are the odds of occurrence and/or level of chemical species that leave a given building and find their way to the ambient air? How much could these be explained by emissions sources specific to the building of interest?