Distributional Characteristics of Volatile Organic Compounds in the Indoor Air of Various Office Environments

다양한 사무실 실내환경에서의 휘발성유기화합물의 농도분포 특성

  • Baek, Sung-Ok (Department of Environmental Engineering, Yeungnam University) ;
  • Jeon, Chan-Gon (Department of Environmental Engineering, Yeungnam University)
  • 백성옥 (영남대학교 환경공학과 대기환경연구실) ;
  • 전찬곤 (영남대학교 환경공학과 대기환경연구실)
  • Received : 2014.08.14
  • Accepted : 2014.09.26
  • Published : 2014.10.31


This study was carried out to evaluate the concentration variations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the office environments located in a large urban area with respect to seasonality, smoking status, types of ventilation and heating. Indoor air sampling was undertaken in 37 and 30 offices in Daegu city during summer and winter, respectively. The VOC samples were collected using adsorbent tubes, and were determined by thermal desorption coupled with GC/MS analysis. The analytical method was validated for repeatability, method detection limits (MDL), and duplication precision. A total of 34 VOCs of environmental concern were determined, including 15 aromatics and 19 halogenated hydrocarbons. Average concentrations of BTEX appeared to 1.91 ppb, 22.98 ppb, 3.44 ppb, and 3.70 ppb, respectively. These values were relatively higher levels than those measured at homes and outdoor roadsides reported by other researches. In general, the concentrations of VOCs were higher in winter than summer, in smoking offices than non-smoking offices, in forced ventilation type than natural ventilation type, and in combustion heating than non-combustion heating offices. However, such differences were not always significant at a level of 0.05 by statistical tests (t-test and/or Mann-Whitney test) with some exceptions for BTEX and styrene. This study demonstrated that smoking status, ventilation type and presence of combustion sources indoors could be important factors on the elevated concentrations of some VOCs in the office environment.



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