Volatile organic compounds within indoor environments in Australia

Nigel B. Goodman, Anne Steinemann, Amanda J. Wheeler, Phillip J. Paevere, Min Cheng, Stephen K. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are pervasive indoor air pollutants. This paper systematically evaluates 25 years (1991–2016) of investigations of VOCs within indoor environments in Australia. Among 31 papers evaluated, the most frequently studied environment was domestic housing (61%), and the most frequently quantified compound was formaldehyde (81%). Active sampling techniques were used in 82% of studies of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX), and in 38% of studies of formaldehyde and other carbonyls. New homes had the highest VOC levels among all studies of domestic housing. For nearly all pollutants, indoor levels were several times higher than outdoor levels. Among the most prevalent compounds indoors were terpenes, such as d-limonene and α-pinene. All studies were conducted at a regional or local level, and no study reported statistically representative indoor VOC data for the Australian population. The evaluation revealed a diversity of sampling approaches and techniques, pointing to the importance of a standard approach for collecting and reporting data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-125
Number of pages10
JournalBuilding and Environment
Volume122
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017
Externally publishedYes

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