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Effects of climatic parameters on formaldehyde concentrations in indoor air

: Salthammer, T.; Fuhrmann, F.; Kaufhold, S.; Meyer, B.; Schwarz, A.


Indoor Air 5 (1995), Nr.2, S.120-128
ISSN: 0905-6947
ISSN: 1600-0668
Fraunhofer WKI ()
air exchange; emission; emission measurement; emissionsmessung; formaldehyde; formaldehyde emission; humidity; indoor air; temperature; correlation of parameters; emission rate; formaldehyde concentration

The results of measurements of indoor air formaldehyde concentrations in occupational and private residences are presented for the period 1986 to 1993, based on requests of persons who complained about irritations. In many cases, climatic parameters such as the air exchange rate, temperature and relative humidity were also monitored. Calculated mean values for temperature and humidity were 22°C and 45% respectively. The average air exchange rate was 0.36 h⁻¹, which is well below a recommended guideline value of 0.8 h˜' and it was evident that the ventilation is clearly insufficient in many rooms. The average formaldehyde concentration was 119 μg/m ⁻³ (252 data), which is only slightly below the German guideline value of 125 μg/m ⁻³. In 31% of the cases this guideline was exceeded. As expected, a clear relation between formaldehyde concentrations and the air exchange rate was found. The highest levels result at AE≤0.8 h⁻¹, but only a single value exceeds 125 μg/m ⁻³ at AE≥0.8 h⁻¹. The association of law ventilation rates with high formaldehyde levels is also evident from a comparison with theoretical data after normalization to AE=0.8 h⁻¹, using the Hoetjer‐equation. It was also observed that the calculated annual mean concentrations decreased from 1986 to 1993.