Chemicals in European residences - Part I : A review of emissions, concentrations and health effects of volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

Halios, Christos H and Landeg-Cox, Charlotte and Lowther, Scott D and Middleton, Alice and Marczylo, Tim and Dimitroulopoulou, Sani (2022) Chemicals in European residences - Part I : A review of emissions, concentrations and health effects of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Science of the Total Environment, 839: 156201. ISSN 0048-9697

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Abstract

One of the more important classes of potentially toxic indoor air chemicals are the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). However, due to a limited understanding of the relationships between indoor concentrations of individual VOCs and health outcomes, there are currently no universal health-based guideline values for VOCs within Europe including the UK. In this study, a systematic search was conducted designed to capture evidence on concentrations, emissions from indoor sources, and health effects for VOCs measured in European residences. We identified 65 individual VOCs, and the most commonly measured were aromatic hydrocarbons (14 chemicals), alkane hydrocarbons (9), aldehydes (8), aliphatic hydrocarbons (5), terpenes (6), chlorinated hydrocarbons (4), glycol and glycol ethers (3) and esters (2). The pathway of interest was inhalation and 8 individual aromatic hydrocarbons, 7 alkanes and 6 aldehydes were associated with respiratory health effects. Members of the chlorinated hydrocarbon family were associated with cardiovascular neurological and carcinogenic health effects and some were irritants as were esters and terpenes. Eight individual aromatic hydrocarbons, 7 alkanes and 6 aldehydes identified in European residences were associated with respiratory health effects. Of the 65 individual VOCs, 52 were from sources associated with building and construction materials (e.g. brick, wood products, adhesives and materials for flooring installation etc.), 41 were linked with consumer products (passive, electric and combustible air fresheners, hair sprays, deodorants) and 9 VOCs were associated with space heating, which may reflect the relatively small number of studies discussing emissions from this category of sources. A clear decrease in concentrations of formaldehyde was observed over the last few years, whilst acetone was found to be one of the most abundant but underreported species. A new approach based on the operational indoor air quality surveillance will both reveal trends in known VOCs and identify new compounds.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Science of the Total Environment
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2300/2304
Subjects:
?? environmental chemistrypollutionenvironmental engineeringwaste management and disposal ??
ID Code:
183997
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
13 Jan 2023 14:55
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 22:43