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Indoor Air. 2006 Apr;16(2):129-35.

Variations of formaldehyde and VOC levels during 3 years in new and older homes.

Author information

  • 1Division of Architectural Engineering, College of Architecture, Hanyang University, Seongdong-gu, Seoul, Korea. junpark@hanyang.ac.kr

Abstract

Indoor air organic compounds were continuously monitored during 3 years in new and older homes which were voluntarily selected throughout countries. The levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the new homes decreased markedly after 1 year, and steady emissions of VOCs were obtained in the initial months. Formaldehyde and a-pinene related to wooden materials need a longer flushing period than the other compounds in the new homes. The levels of the indoor air organic compounds in the older homes showed no significant fluctuation during the 3-year period. Decreases of the indoor-produced compounds in the new homes did not depend upon the ventilation systems. The results indicate that the indoor-produced compounds in the new homes will be more influenced by the aging decreases of emission source strengths than ventilation systems. The quantitative information on the trend of the indoor air organic compound levels will be useful for the risk assessment of indoor exposure to those compounds, and also for Japanese IAQ guidelines.

PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS:

The initial levels of VOCs in the new homes decreased dramatically and were close to the mean values for the older homes after one year. The results suggest that steady emissions of VOCs are obtained within initial months. However, formaldehyde and a-pinene did not follow the trend for VOCs, particularly in the wooden framed houses. The results tend to suggest that formaldehyde and a-pinene related to wooden materials will need more long a flushing period than other compounds in the new homes. Decreasing tendency of indoor air organic compound levels in the new homes did not appear to show any dependency upon the ventilation systems over the whole period. Absence of data for ventilation rates in the houses dose not permit interpretation of the relation between ventilation rates and indoor air organic compound levels with statistical certainty, but the results suggest that indoor air organic compound levels in the homes will be more influenced by emission source strengths than ventilation systems. The levels of indoor air organic compounds in the new homes are sufficiently decreased according to the ageing decreases of organic compounds when the home is ventilated with adequate quantities.

PMID:
16507040
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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