Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying
Abstract Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were measured in the air of 51 renovated rooms in Schleswig-Holstein. The buildings examined were of different types – private flats, schools, kindergartens, office buildings – the only common characteristic being that they had all been renovated within the last two years. Among the dominating substances in the 46/51 complaint cases were well-known substances such as alkylbenzenes or monoterpenes at high concentrations but also less common substances, i.e. those which have only recently been reported as indoor air contaminants, for example phenoxyethanol, 2-(2-butoxyethoxy)-ethylacetate (butyldiglycolacetate) or longifolene (Mohr, 1994) at remarkable concentrations. A tentative investigation was made to identify the simultaneous occurrences of the different substances, especially the uncommon ones with their potential sources, as well as health impairments. Finally, VOC emissions from two carpet glues, suspected during the investigations of playing a role as a potential source of the less common substances, were carefully measured under test chamber conditions. This additional laboratory experiment was made to verify the tendency shown in the field study that modern ecological building materials contain less volatile and less common substances but with increased indoor persistence, that could partially account for the increasing number of complaints in relation to the SBS phenomenon.
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