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Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Emissions from a Personal Care Polymer-Based Item: Simulation of the Inhalation Exposure Scenario Indoors under Actual Conditions of Use

Department of Biology, University of Bari Aldo Moro, via Orabona 4, 70125 Bari, Italy
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Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2577; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072577 (registering DOI)
Received: 19 February 2020 / Revised: 13 March 2020 / Accepted: 16 March 2020 / Published: 25 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Building and Indoor Air Quality)
Polymer-based items may release Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and odors indoors, contributing to the overall VOC inhalation exposure for end users and building occupants. The main objective of the present study is the evaluation of short-term inhalation exposure to VOCs due to the use of a personal care polymer-based item, namely, one of three electric heating bags, through a strategic methodological approach and the simulation of a ‘near-to-real’ exposure scenario. Seventy two-hour test chamber experiments were first performed to characterize VOC emissions with the items on ‘not-heating mode’ and to derive related emission rates. The polyester bag was revealed to be responsible for the highest emissions both in terms of total VOC and naphthalene emissions (437 and 360 µg/m3, respectively), compared with the other two bags under investigation. Complementary investigations on ‘heating mode’ and the simulation of the exposure scenario inside a 30 m3 reference room allowed us to highlight that the use of the polyester bag in the first life-cycle period could determine a naphthalene concentration (42 µg/m3) higher than the reference Lowest Concentration of Interest (LCI) value (10 µg/m3) reported in European evaluation schemes. The present study proposes a strategic methodological approach highlighting the need for the simulation of a realistic scenario when potential hazards for human health need to be assessed. View Full-Text
Keywords: VOCs; polymer-based items; indoor air quality; test emission chamber; exposure scenario VOCs; polymer-based items; indoor air quality; test emission chamber; exposure scenario
MDPI and ACS Style

Palmisani, J.; Di Gilio, A.; Cisternino, E.; Tutino, M.; de Gennaro, G. Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Emissions from a Personal Care Polymer-Based Item: Simulation of the Inhalation Exposure Scenario Indoors under Actual Conditions of Use. Sustainability 2020, 12, 2577.

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