|Title||Indoor volatile organic compounds at an Australian university|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2018|
|Authors||Goodman N.B, Wheeler A.J, Paevere P.J, Selleck P.W, Cheng M., Steinemann A.|
|Journal||Building and Environment|
|Type of Article||Article|
|Keywords||air-quality; BTEX; buildings; Construction & Building Technology; Engineering; environmental chamber; formaldehyde; france; Indoor air quality; Indoor environments; melbourne; pollutants; products; schools; University; voc emissions; Volatile organic compounds|
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.