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Very volatile organic compounds (VVOC) as emissions from wooden materials and in indoor air of new prefabricated wooden houses

: Schieweck, Alexandra


Building and environment 190 (2021), Art. 107537, 12 pp.
ISSN: 0360-1323
Journal Article
Fraunhofer WKI ()
VVOC; aldehydes; organic acids; wood; houses; emissions

This study monitored for the first time the occurrence of a wide range of very volatile organic compounds (VVOCs) as emissions from wooden materials and in indoor air of prefabricated wooden houses non-occupied and occupied. Measurements were performed by using a newly developed method which enables a broadening of the analytical spectrum beyond ≤ C6. It is shown that even wooden materials are emission sources of very volatile species, but without playing a dominant role regarding VVOC concentrations in indoor air of new prefabricated wooden houses. C4- and C5-alkanes were identified as most abundant substances which are presumably released as propellants from insulation materials. Regarding propane-1,2-diol, acetaldehyde and C1–C8-carboxylic acids, German indoor guide values were exceeded in two out of four houses at delivery and/or under occupancy. In one house with natural ventilation, acetaldehyde concentrations were higher than the OEHHA reference exposure level at delivery before ventilation. The findings show that instead of formaldehyde both acetaldehyde and carboxylic acids will move into the focus of attention due to recent regulations. The results also underline that even with a mechanical ventilation system and, thus, at increased air exchange rates, a hygienic, harmless indoor air quality cannot always be achieved. The appropriate selection and application of construction materials is still important in order to obtain an acceptable indoor air quality.