Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOC) and BTEX in Australian Dwellings

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Cheng, Min; Galbally, Ian; Keywood, Melita ORCID ID icon; Lawson, Sarah ORCID ID icon; Molloy, Suzie; Powell, Jennifer; Gillett, Rob; Dunne, Erin


2011-07-31


Conference Material


20th International Clean Air and Environment Conference, Auckland, New Zealand, 31 July-2 August 2011


1 p


Volatile organic compounds (VOC) including benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes (BTEX) are important contributors to indoor air pollution as high concentrations are associated with sick building syndrome (SBS) and other health effects. Until recently there has been limited information about indoor VOCs concentrations in Australian dwellings. We have added to this knowledge by conducting a study of indoor air pollutants in 40 typical Australian dwellings. This paper presents the findings of the total VOC (TVOC) and BTEX levels in these dwellings. The results from the study show that indoor concentrations of TVOC and BTEX were much higher than outdoor concentrations. This indicates that significant sources of VOCs are present indoors. Higher indoor concentrations of TVOC and BTEX in this study are associated with combustion events, cooking appliances, the use of household chemicals and the burning of candles and incense. Elevated indoor concentrations of TVOC and BTEX were also found in dwellings where occupants reported recent renovation, painting and/or the addition of new furniture, and in dwellings with attached garages. TVOC and BTEX occurred in lower concentrations in dwellings with high levels of natural ventilation and older dwellings. The distance of the dwelling to busy roads, the house volume, number of occupants and the presence of visible mould or musty odours in the dwellings had no significant statistical correlations with the indoor measurements of TVOC and BTEX. The influence of smoking was not determined due to its rare occurrence indoors in this study. The median indoor TVOC and BTEX concentrations measured in the 40 Australian dwellings were generally lower than those reported in other studies overseas. This may be due to the higher ventilation of Australian dwellings and the lower outdoor concentrations of TVOC and BTEX.


Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand


TVOC; BTEX; Indoor air; Australian Dwellings


Environmental Monitoring


Link to Publisher's Version


© 2011 Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand


EP105783


Conference Abstract


English


Cheng, Min; Galbally, Ian; Keywood, Melita; Lawson, Sarah; Molloy, Suzie; Powell, Jennifer; Gillett, Rob; Dunne, Erin. Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOC) and BTEX in Australian Dwellings. In: 20th International Clean Air and Environment Conference; 31 July-2 August 2011; Auckland, New Zealand. Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand; 2011. 1 p. http://hdl.handle.net/102.100.100/103565?index=1



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