Formaldehyde, aliphatic aldehydes (C2-C11), furfural, and benzaldehyde in the residential indoor air of children and adolescents during the German Environmental Survey 2014-2017 (GerES V)
Indoor air concentrations of formaldehyde, furfural, benzaldehyde, and 11 aliphatic aldehydes (C2-C11) were measured in residences of 639 participants in the German Environmental Survey for Children and Adolescents 2014-2017 (GerES V). Sampling was conducted using passive samplers over periods of approximately seven days for each participant. The most abundant compounds were formaldehyde and hexanal with median concentrations of 24.9 µg m-³ and 10.9 µg m-³, respectively. Formaldehyde concentrations exceeded the Guide Value I recommended by the German Committee on Indoor Guide Values (Ausschuss für Innenraumrichtwerte - AIR) (0.10 mg m-³) for 0.3% of the participating residences. The sum of aliphatic n-aldehydes between C4 (butanal) and C11 (undecanal) exceeded their Guide Value (0.10 mg m-³) for 2.0% of the residences. The geometric mean concentrations of most aldehydes were lower than in the earlier GerES IV (2003-2006) study. Formaldehyde and hexanal concentrations, however, were comparable in both studies and showed no significant difference. Indoor aldehyde concentrations did not exhibit significant correlations with factors collected in questionnaires, such as the age of the participants, their socio-economic status, the location of the residence (former East/West Germany), migration background, tobacco exposure, and the type of furniture used. The validity of the passive sampler measurements was verified against active sampling techniques in a test chamber experiment.