Volatile organic compounds in building structures and their impact on indoor air
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
A common approach when investigating indoor air problems is sampling volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air within rooms. The chemical composition of indoor air is complex and there are many sources of the chemicals present. Measurements of emissions from building materials are commonly collected only from surface materials when estimating the effects of building structures on indoor air quality. The potential for exposure from sources in hidden spaces such as wall cavities is poorly understood and little information exists on the toxic potential of chemical releases resulting from the moisture-related degradation of building materials. While their impact on health is often unclear, VOCs can be used to indicate technical problems in buildings. Sampling the air inside building structures should exclude emissions from other sources, leaving only those from the construction materials. The aims of this study were to find important emissions profiles in different types of building structures and to determine whether the same profiles were also present in indoor air. The emissions profiles for different building structures were compared using multivariate data analysis techniques, and influential and significant chemical compounds were identified. Emissions profiles typical for PVC flooring, polystyrene insulations and wood preservatives were identified. The specific profiles found in the structures could not be found in indoor air, although small amounts of individual compounds were sometimes found. The combination of sampling inside building structures and data analysis using multivariate methods gave us more information about materials and VOCs present in building structures than could have been obtained using traditional indoor air measurements. This method therefore facilitates technical investigations in problem buildings and aids in locating and removing emission sources with suspected effects on occupant health.
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Research subject Occupational and Environmental Medicine
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-55204OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-55204DiVA: diva2:526296
ProjectsKompetenscentrum Byggnad - Luftkvalitet - Hälsa 2 (KLUCK 2)