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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 6273-6291; doi:10.3390/ijerph10126273
Article

Indoor and Outdoor Monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds in School Buildings: Indicators Based on Health Risk Assessment to Single out Critical Issues

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Received: 18 September 2013; in revised form: 24 October 2013 / Accepted: 7 November 2013 / Published: 25 November 2013
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Abstract: Children are more sensitive to pollutants than adults and yet they spend large amounts of time in school environments where they are exposed to unknown levels of indoor pollutants. This study investigated the concentrations of the most abundant volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in eight naturally ventilated school buildings in Italy. The schools were chosen to include areas with different urbanization and traffic density characteristics in order to gather a more diverse picture of exposure risks in the different areas of the city. VOCs were sampled for one week in the presence/absence of pupils using diffusive samplers suitable for thermal desorption inside three classrooms at each school. The samples were then analyzed with thermal desorption-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (TD-GC-MS). In addition, outdoor measurements were carried out in the yard at each school. VOC identification and quantification, and indoor/outdoor concentration plots were used to identify pollutant sources. While some classrooms were found to have very low VOC levels, others had a significant indoor contribution or a prevalent outdoor contribution. High concentrations of terpenes were found in all monitored classrooms: a-pinene and limonene were in the range of 6.55–34.18 µg/m3 and 11.11–25.42 µg/m3 respectively. Outdoor concentrations were lower than indoors for each monitored school. Indicators based on health risk assessment for chronic health effects associated with VOCs (either carcinogenic or non-carcinogenic) were proposed to rank sites according to their hazard level.
Keywords: indoor air quality; volatile organic compounds; indoor/outdoor plot; indicators based on health risk assessment indoor air quality; volatile organic compounds; indoor/outdoor plot; indicators based on health risk assessment
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

de Gennaro, G.; Farella, G.; Marzocca, A.; Mazzone, A.; Tutino, M. Indoor and Outdoor Monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds in School Buildings: Indicators Based on Health Risk Assessment to Single out Critical Issues. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 6273-6291.

AMA Style

de Gennaro G, Farella G, Marzocca A, Mazzone A, Tutino M. Indoor and Outdoor Monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds in School Buildings: Indicators Based on Health Risk Assessment to Single out Critical Issues. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2013; 10(12):6273-6291.

Chicago/Turabian Style

de Gennaro, Gianluigi; Farella, Genoveffa; Marzocca, Annalisa; Mazzone, Antonio; Tutino, Maria. 2013. "Indoor and Outdoor Monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds in School Buildings: Indicators Based on Health Risk Assessment to Single out Critical Issues." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 10, no. 12: 6273-6291.



Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert