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You are here: Home » Past Issues » Volume 8, 2013 - Number 4 » ASSESSMENT OF AIR QUALITY FROM PRIMARY SCHOOL CLASSROOMS AND THE PRESENCE OF VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS (VOCs)


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Melinda Haydee KOVACS1,2, Carmen ROBA2*, Cristina ROŞU2*, Iulia NEAMŢIU2,3 & Eugen GURZĂU2,3
1National Institute for Research and Development of Isotopic and Molecular Technologies, Donath 65-103, 400293, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
2Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Babeş-Bolyai University, Fântânele 30, 400294, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
3Environmental Health Center, Busuiocului 58, 400240, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
*Corresponding authors: carmen.roba@ubbcluj.ro and cristina.rosu@ubbcluj.ro

ASSESSMENT OF AIR QUALITY FROM PRIMARY SCHOOL CLASSROOMS AND THE PRESENCE OF VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS (VOCs)

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Abstract:

The concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the indoor and outdoorenvironment of five primary schools from Alba County were monitored during September 2011 andJanuary 2012. Air samples from both indoor and outdoor environments were collected using Radiellopassive air samplers. The VOCs were analyzed using a gas chromatograph with a DSQ II quadrupolemass spectrometer detector (GC-MS), following a desorption process. Generally, the VOCs levels werehigher in the indoor environment than in the outdoor. Compounds as octane, nonane, decane, undecane,dodecane and tridecane were detected in 90% of the samples and the measured concentrations rangedbetween 7.59 – 44.2 μg·m-3 in indoor and 4.26 – 20.24 μg·m-3 in outdoor. Other compounds as toluene,ethylbenzene, xylene or styrene were detected in 35 – 60% of the collected samples and their levels ranged between 0.24 – 31.00 μg·m-3 in indoor and 10.25 – 66.24 μg·m-3 in outdoor. Elevated indoor VOCsconcentrations were associated with the presence of building materials like polystyrene isolation,presence of plastic laminated or composite furniture, and the PVC panel; with an increase number ofoccupants, with low ventilation rates, and outdoor pollution, while the outdoor VOCs, especially thearomatics, reflect the level of urbanization/industrialization, the traffic proximity and intensity.


Keyword: volatile organic compounds, indoor air pollution, gas chromatography, mass spectrometer detector, Alba County, Romania.


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