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An inter-comparison of VOC types and distribution in different indoor environments in a university campus

By DWT Chan, CSY Tam and AP Jones


Although volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are major indoor air pollutants and ones which may affect human health it is rare to find a study about their types and distribution pattern in a university. To remedy this large-scale sampling of VOCs was conducted at different indoor environments on a university campus in Hong Kong when the HVAC system was turned on. The 54 sites selected for sampling included classrooms, offices, dining and kitchen area of canteens, workshops, laboratories and a library. All the buildings were served with mechanical ventilation and an air conditioning (MVAC) system. Samples were analysed by the USEPA's TO-14 method. VOCs discovered were divided arbitrarily into three categories: fluorinated compounds, non-aromatic chlorinated compounds and aromatic compounds. Among the VOCs detected by the TO-14 method, toluene and benzene were the most common compounds present on the campus and were present in all the samples taken. The main source for those two VOCs was ingress from outdoors.Department of Building Services Engineerin

Topics: Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS), TO-14 method, University campus, Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Year: 2007
DOI identifier: 10.1177/1420326X07081094
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