The Science of the total environment

Characterization and source profiling of volatile organic compounds in indoor air of private residences in Selangor State, Malaysia.

PMID 28236484


Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in indoor air were investigated at 39 private residences in Selangor State, Malaysia to characterize the indoor air quality and to identify pollution sources. Twenty-two VOCs including isomers (14 aldehydes, 5 aromatic hydrocarbons, acetone, trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene) were collected by 2 passive samplers for 24h and quantitated using high performance liquid chromatography and gas chromatography mass spectrometry. Source profiling based on benzene/toluene ratio as well as statistical analysis (cluster analysis, bivariate correlation analysis and principal component analysis) was performed to identify pollution sources of the detected VOCs. The VOCs concentrations were compared with regulatory limits of air quality guidelines in WHO/EU, the US, Canada and Japan to clarify the potential health risks to the residents. The 39 residences were classified into 2 groups and 2 ungrouped residences based on the dendrogram in the cluster analysis. Group 1 (n=30) had mainly toluene (6.87±2.19μg/m(3)), formaldehyde (16.0±10.1μg/m(3)), acetaldehyde (5.35±4.57μg/m(3)) and acetone (11.1±5.95μg/m(3)) at background levels. Group 2 (n=7) had significantly high values of formaldehyde (99.3±10.7μg/m(3)) and acetone (35.8±12.6μg/m(3)), and a tendency to have higher values of acetaldehyde (23.7±13.5μg/m(3)), butyraldehyde (3.35±0.41μg/m(3)) and isovaleraldehyde (2.30±0.39μg/m(3)). The 2 ungrouped residences showed particularly high concentrations of BTX (benzene, toluene and xylene: 235μg/m(3) in total) or acetone (133μg/m(3)). The geometric mean value of formaldehyde (19.2μg/m(3)) exceeded an 8-hour regulatory limit in Canada (9μg/m(3)), while those in other compounds did not exceed any regulatory limits, although a few residences exceeded at least one regulatory limit of benzene or acetaldehyde. Thus, the VOCs in the private residences were effectively characterized from the limited number of monitoring, and the potential health risks of the VOCs exposure, particularly formaldehyde, should be considered in the study area.

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2,5-Dimethylbenzaldehyde, 99%