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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(10), 3792-3803; doi:10.3390/ijerph7103792

A Three Year Study on 14 VOCs at One Site in Rome: Levels, Seasonal Variations, Indoor/Outdoor Ratio and Temporal Trends

Igiene degli Ambienti di Vita, Dipartimento Ambiente e Connessa Prevenzione Primaria, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Roma, Italia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 September 2010 / Revised: 14 September 2010 / Accepted: 22 September 2010 / Published: 22 October 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution and Human Health)
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Fourteen volatile organic compounds (VOCs)—twelve hydrocarbons and two organochlorine compounds—were monitored both outdoors and indoors for three years at one site in Rome. Results showed that 118 out of 168 indoor seasonal mean values were higher than the corresponding outdoor concentrations. The most relevant source of outdoor hydrocarbons was automotive exhaust emissions. Due to the enforcement of various measures to protect health and the environment, outdoor levels of monoaromatic hydrocarbons decreased about ten fold over 15 years, and aliphatic hydrocarbons also decreased. With the decrease in these outdoor concentrations, indoor air sources are likely to be more relevant for indoor air exposures. Winter outdoor values for monoaromatic hydrocarbons were generally markedly higher than the summer ones. The gradual replacement of the current fleet of circulating cars with new cars complying with EURO 5 standards, further reducing hydrocarbon emissions, may possibly lead to an increase in the observed indoor/outdoor ratios. It is indeed more difficult to remove indoor sources, some of which are still unknown. View Full-Text
Keywords: VOCs; indoor air; outdoor air; benzene; automotive emissions VOCs; indoor air; outdoor air; benzene; automotive emissions
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Fuselli, S.; De Felice, M.; Morlino, R.; Turrio-Baldassarri, L. A Three Year Study on 14 VOCs at One Site in Rome: Levels, Seasonal Variations, Indoor/Outdoor Ratio and Temporal Trends. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7, 3792-3803.

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