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Indoor Air. 2001 Mar;11(1):49-64.

Volatile organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and elements in the air of ten urban homes.

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LTV Steel Company, Inc., Indiana Harbor Works, East Chicago, Indiana, USA.


Ten homes were monitored at regular intervals from June 1994 through April 1995 as part of a Public Health Assessment in Southeast Chicago for exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and elements. Simultaneous 24-h indoor and outdoor samples were collected. VOCs were and analyzed using USEPA Method TO-14 with Selected Ion Monitoring Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS). PAHs were analyzed using USEPA Method TO-13 with GC/MS. Elements were collected on quartz fiber filters and analyzed by Inductively Coupled Argon Plasma (ICP) spectroscopy or Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption (GFAA). Continuous measurements of CO2 and temperature were recorded for each indoor sample. Twenty-four h total CO2 emissions were determined from occupancy and estimated gas stove usage and were moderately correlated (R2 = 0.19) with 24 h average indoor CO2 concentrations. Modeled 24-h air exchange rates ranged from 0.04 to 3.76 air changes h-1 (ACH), with mean of 0.52 ACH. Median particle penetration was 0.89. Emission rates were calculated for each pollutant sampled. Using a detailed housing survey and field sampling questionnaires, it was possible to evaluate associations between housing characteristics and source activities, and pollutant source rates. The data indicate that several predictor variables, including mothball storage, air freshner use, and cooking activities, are reasonable predictors for emission rates for specific pollutants in the homes studied.

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