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Monitoring of volatile organic compounds in non-residential indoor environments

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A weekly monitoring campaign of volatile organic compounds (VOC), with single sampling of 24 h, was carried out in non-residential indoor environments such as libraries, pharmacies, offices, gymnasiums, etc., in order to evaluate the VOC concentrations to which people are exposed. Moreover, an outdoor sample was coupled to each indoor site to point out the influence of indoor sources. They were sampled with Radiello® diffusive samplers for thermal desorption and analyzed by GC-MS. As already described in other papers, the VOC levels of most of the indoor sites were higher than that observed in the corresponding outdoor sites. For example, some sites showed a level of pollution that is ten times higher than their corresponding outdoor site. The monitored environments that had higher concentrations of the investigated VOC were the pharmacies, a newspaper stand, a copy center, and the coffee shops. Analysis of the weekly average concentrations of each pollutant and the use of literature allowed pointing out some site-specific characteristics that singled out possible sources of VOC. These results were verified analyzing the indoor-outdoor ratio (I/O) too. Newspaper stands were characterized by very high concentrations of toluene and pharmacies were characterized by high concentrations of aromatic compounds.
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Keywords: Non-residential indoor site; Passive sampler; Thermal desorption; Volatile organic compounds

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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