Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying
Abstract The impact on air quality of the emission of pollutants from freshly conditioned sealant and waterborne paint, and a new carpet was investigated by means of a closed emission system and a high loading factor, i.e. “maximized” test conditions. VOCs were measured. Speciated TVOC values obtained by summation of single VOCs and TVOC (cyclohexane equivalents) values determined by IR spectroscopy were of the same order of magnitude for the carpet and for the sealant. Biological evaluation of the effects of the VOCs was undertaken from the concentrations and the odour and irritation thresholds of each substance. The overall agreements and the mutual supplementation of the results from the TVOC and biological evaluations were apparent, suggesting that both approaches should be part of the evaluation of emissions from building materials. Also the mouse bioassay (ASTM, 1984) was used for evaluation of the irritants emitted. Chemical emission testing and the use of established lists of irritation thresholds appear to be more cost-effective, due to the low sensitivity of the bioassay. This approach was demonstrated with 2-butanone oxime (emitted from the sealant). The same type of approach may be used in relation to odour and hazard identification. However, human and animal tests are necessary in cases where biological data are lacking or where the chemical emission is unknown.
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