Indoor volatile organic compounds at an Australian university

Goodman, Nigel B., Wheeler, Amanda J., Paevere, Phillip J., Selleck, Paul W., Cheng, Min, and Steinemann, Anne (2018) Indoor volatile organic compounds at an Australian university. Building and Environment, 135. pp. 344-351.

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Abstract

This study investigates volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at a large Australian university, within locations of campus services, restrooms, renovated offices, a green building, meeting areas, and classrooms. Analysis of 41 VOCs across 20 locations reveals indoor concentrations higher than outdoor concentrations for 97% of all VOC measurements (493 unique comparisons). Hazardous air pollutants (formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, and xy-lenes) were up to an order of magnitude higher indoors than outdoors, and at the highest combined geometric mean concentrations in classrooms (51.6 mu g/m(3)), renovated offices (42.8 mu g/m(3)), and a green building (23.0 mu g/m(3)). Further, d-limonene, ethanol, hexaldehyde, beta-pinene, and isobutane were up to two orders of magnitude higher indoors than outdoors. The most prevalent VOCs (e.g., ethanol, d-limonene, and formaldehyde) have links with building materials, furnishings, and fragranced consumer products such as air fresheners and cleaning supplies. Highest indoor to outdoor concentration (I/O) ratios of formaldehyde (27), toluene (9), p-xylene (12), and m-xylene (11) were in a green building; highest of benzene (6) in renovated offices; and highest of o-xylene (9) in meeting areas. Results from this study are consistent with findings from similar international studies and suggest that university indoor environments may be important sources of pollutants.

Item ID: 53890
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-684X
Keywords: Volatile organic compounds, Indoor air quality, Formaldehyde, BTEX, University, Indoor environments
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2018 07:51
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111705 Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety @ 100%
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