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Variations in amounts and potential sources of volatile organic chemicals in new cars.

The Science of the total environment (2007-06-02)
Yeh-Chung Chien
ABSTRACT

This study examines inter-brand, intra-brand and intra-model variations in volatile organic chemical (VOC) levels inside new cars. The effect of temperature on interior VOC levels was examined using model automobiles with and without the air-conditioning running. Potential sources of VOC were assessed by comparing VOC levels with two interior trims (leather and fabric) and by analyzing VOC emissions from various interior components. Five brands of new car, both domestic and imported, were tested. Twelve targeted VOCs were collected on solid sorbents and analyzed using thermal desorption and GC/FID. VOCs from interior parts and adhesives were identified using solid phase micro-extraction (SPME) coupled with GC/MS. The VOC concentrations varied markedly among brands and within models, and individual VOC levels ranged from below the detection limit (a few mug per cubic meter) to thousands of mug per cubic meter. The intra-model variability (mean, 47%) in the VOC levels was approximately 50% that within each brand (mean, 95%). Although interior trim levels affected VOC levels, the effects differed among brands. Reduction of the cabin temperature reduced most VOC levels, but the impact was not statistically significant. Screening tests for VOCs from interior parts revealed that butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), a common anti-oxidant, was the most common chemical. Long-chain aliphatic hydrocarbons, particularly C14-C17, were identified in most grease (lubricant) samples, and toluene and xylenes were ubiquitously present in adhesive samples. Process-related compounds, such as plasticizer, were also identified in interior parts. In-cabin VOC levels varied significantly among makes/models and interior trims. Concerned consumers should purchase older new cars from manufacturers since VOC levels inside car cabins normally declines over time. Improved processes or materials with lower VOC emission potential should be used to minimize in-cabin VOC sources for new cars.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Supelco
SPME-OC Fiber Assembly, Polydimethylsiloxane/Divinylbenzene (PDMS/DVB), df 75 μm (Coating thickness includes 65 μm coating + 10 μm OC (overcoating)), needle size 23 ga, pkg of 3 ea, fiber L 1 cm
Supelco
SPME fiber assembly Divinylbenzene/Carboxen/Polydimethylsiloxane (DVB/CAR/PDMS), needle size 23 ga, StableFlex, for use with autosampler
Supelco
SPME fiber assembly Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), df 7 μm (PDMS), needle size 23 ga, for use with autosampler
Supelco
SPME fiber assembly Carboxen/Polydimethylsiloxane (CAR/PDMS), df 85 μm (CAR/PDMS), needle size 23 ga, StableFlex, for use with autosampler
Supelco
SPME fiber assembly Divinylbenzene/Carboxen/Polydimethylsiloxane (DVB/CAR/PDMS), needle size 23 ga, StableFlex, for use with manual holder/autosampler, fiber L 2 cm
Supelco
SPME fiber assembly Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), df 100 μm (PDMS), for use with autosampler, needle size 24 ga
Supelco
SPME fiber assembly Carboxen/Polydimethylsiloxane (CAR/PDMS), df 75 μm (CAR/PDMS), for use with manual holder, needle size 24 ga
Supelco
SPME Portable Field Sampler, coating PDMS/DVB
Supelco
SPME fiber assembly Divinylbenzene/Carboxen/Polydimethylsiloxane (DVB/CAR/PDMS), needle size 24 ga, StableFlex, for use with manual holder/autosampler
Supelco
SPME fiber assembly Carboxen/Polydimethylsiloxane (CAR/PDMS), df 75 μm (CAR/PDMS), needle size 24 ga, for use with autosampler
Supelco
SPME fiber assembly Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), df 30 μm (PDMS), needle size 24 ga, for use with autosampler
Supelco
SPME fiber assembly Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), df 7 μm (PDMS), needle size 24 ga, for use with manual holder
Supelco
SPME fiber assembly Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), df 7 μm (PDMS), needle size 24 ga, for use with autosampler
Supelco
SPME fiber assembly Divinylbenzene/Carboxen/Polydimethylsiloxane (DVB/CAR/PDMS), needle size 24 ga, StableFlex, for use with autosampler
Supelco
SPME fiber assembly polyacrylate (PA), df 85 μm (PA), for use with manual holder, needle size 24 ga
Supelco
SPME fiber assembly Divinylbenzene/Carboxen/Polydimethylsiloxane (DVB/CAR/PDMS), needle size 24 ga, for use with manual holder
Supelco
SPME Sampling Stand, for use with 15 mL vials
Supelco
SPME Portable Field Sampler, coating PDMS
Supelco
SPME fiber assembly Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), df 100 μm (PDMS), needle size 24 ga, for use with manual holder
Supelco
SPME fiber assembly Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), df 100 μm (PDMS), for use with autosampler, needle size 23 ga
Supelco
SPME fiber assembly Carboxen/Polydimethylsiloxane (CAR/PDMS), df 75 μm (CAR/PDMS), needle size 23 ga, for use with autosampler
Supelco
SPME fiber assembly Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), df 30 μm (PDMS), needle size 24 ga, for use with manual holder
Supelco
SPME fiber assembly Carboxen/Polydimethylsiloxane (CAR/PDMS), df 75 μm (CAR/PDMS), needle size 23 ga, for use with manual holder
Supelco
SPME fiber assembly Divinylbenzene/Carboxen/Polydimethylsiloxane (DVB/CAR/PDMS), for use with autosampler, needle size 23 ga, metal alloy fiber, fiber L 1 cm
Supelco
SPME fiber assembly Carboxen/Polydimethylsiloxane (CAR/PDMS), df 85 μm (CAR/PDMS), for use with autosampler, needle size 23 ga, metal alloy fiber
Supelco
SPME fiber assembly Divinylbenzene/Carboxen/Polydimethylsiloxane (DVB/CAR/PDMS), for use with autosampler, needle size 23 ga, metal alloy fiber, fiber L 2 cm
Supelco
SPME fiber assembly polyacrylate (PA), df 85 μm (PA), for use with autosampler, needle size 24 ga
Supelco
SPME Sampling Stand, for use with 4 mL vials
Supelco
SPME fiber assembly Carboxen/Polydimethylsiloxane (CAR/PDMS), df 85 μm (CAR/PDMS), needle size 24 ga, StableFlex, for use with autosampler
Supelco
SPME Portable Field Sampler, coating CAR/PDMS