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Indoor air quality and chemical emissions of organic compounds in newly built low-energy preschools
Örebro University, School of Science and Technology.
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In 2010, the European Union (EU) introduced the “Energy performance of Buildings” directive, which stipulates that all new buildings must reduce their energy consumption by constructing low-energy buildings. This could be achieved by constructing airtight and energy efficient envelopes with functional building materials such as age-resistant plastic films, insulation and different sealing products. However, functional building materials are known to contain a large amount of man-made chemicals that could be released to the indoor environment and might cause health issues among the occupants. In view of this, the indoor air quality (IAQ) and contamination of selected organic compounds were investigated in newly built low-energy preschools in order to evaluate whether the new building concept, low-energy housing, can have a negative effect to the indoor environment and the occupants. The IAQ was satisfactory in all preschools and the indoor air chemical mixture was heavily influenced by the mechanical heat recovery ventilation system. Furthermore, the levels of formaldehyde, total volatile organic compounds (TVOC), brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs) were lower in the environmental certified low-energy preschools compared to those preschools without environmental certification. Thus, a conscious choice of building materials, interior decoration and chemical products can reduce the occurrence and levels of hazardous organic compounds. Emission tests showed that collected building materials only contributed to a small fraction of the measured indoor chemical levels. Furthermore, preliminary exposure risk estimation of the indoor chemical mixture showed potential health risk from some individual compounds to the occupants, but further investigations are needed for a more complete risk assessment. In conclusion, the comprehensive and unique study design presented in this thesis will contribute to the ongoing work towards a non-toxic environment, further development of the low-energy building concept and the legislative movement on limit values for chemical emissions from building materials.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro University , 2018. , p. 67
Series
Örebro Studies in Chemistry, ISSN 1651-4270 ; 22
Keywords [en]
Indoor air quality, volatile organic compounds, brominated flame retardants, organophosphate flame retardants, low-energy preschools, environmental certification, indoor dust, surface wipes
National Category
Other Chemistry Topics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-69689ISBN: 978-91-7529-268-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-69689DiVA, id: diva2:1257291
Public defence
2018-12-14, Örebro universitet, Hörsalen, Musikhögskolan, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-10-19 Created: 2018-10-19 Last updated: 2018-11-21Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Indoor air quality of newly built low-energy preschools: Are chemical emissions reduced in houses with eco-labelled building materials?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Indoor air quality of newly built low-energy preschools: Are chemical emissions reduced in houses with eco-labelled building materials?
2018 (English)In: Indoor and Built Environment, ISSN 1420-326XArticle in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The use of an airtight frame in low-energy buildings could increase the risk of health-related problems, such as allergies and sick building syndromes (SBS), associated with chemical emissions from building materials, especially if the ventilation system is not functioning properly. In this study, the indoor air quality (IAQ) was investigated in newly built low-energy and conventional preschools by monitoring the indoor air temperature, relative humidity, particle-size distribution and levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), formaldehyde and total volatile organic compounds (TVOC). The thermal comfort was satisfactory in all preschools, with average indoor air temperature and a relative humidity at 21.4C and 36%, respectively. The highest levels of TVOC (range: 130–1650 mg/m3 toluene equivalents) and formaldehyde (range: 1.9–28.8 mg/m3) occurred during the first sampling period associated with strong emissions from building materials. However, those preschools constructed with environmental friendly building materials (such as Swan Eco-label) had lower initial TVOC levels compared to those preschools constructed with conventional building materials. The IAQ and indoor chemical emissions were also strongly dependent on the functioning of the ventilation system. Preliminary risk assessment indicated that exposure to acrolein and crotonaldehyde might lead to respiratory-tract irritation among occupants.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2018
Keywords
Indoor air quality, Low-energy preschool, Ventilation, Indoor air pollutants, Temporal trends, Maximum cumulative ratio, Volatile organic compounds
National Category
Analytical Chemistry Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-70261 (URN)10.1177/1420326X18792600 (DOI)
Available from: 2018-11-21 Created: 2018-11-21 Last updated: 2018-11-21Bibliographically approved
2. Temporal trends of decabromodiphenyl ether and emerging brominated flame retardants in dust, air and window surfaces of newly built low-energy preschools
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Temporal trends of decabromodiphenyl ether and emerging brominated flame retardants in dust, air and window surfaces of newly built low-energy preschools
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Analytical Chemistry Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-70262 (URN)
Available from: 2018-11-21 Created: 2018-11-21 Last updated: 2018-11-30Bibliographically approved
3. Organophosphate flame retardants and plasticizers in indoor dust, air and window wipes in newly built low-energy preschools
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Organophosphate flame retardants and plasticizers in indoor dust, air and window wipes in newly built low-energy preschools
2018 (English)In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 628-629, p. 159-168Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The construction of extremely airtight and energy efficient low-energy buildings is achieved by using functional building materials, such as age-resistant plastics, insulation, adhesives, and sealants. Additives such as organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs) can be added to some of these building materials as flame retardants and plasticizers. Some OPFRs are considered persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic. Therefore, in this pilot study, the occurrence and distribution of nine OPFRs were determined for dust, air, and window wipe samples collected in newly built low-energy preschools with and without environmental certifications. Tris(1,3-dichloroisopropyl) phosphate (TDCIPP) and triphenyl phosphate (TPHP) were detected in all indoor dust samples at concentrations ranging from 0.014 to 10 μg/g and 0.0069 to 79 μg/g, respectively. Only six OPFRs (predominantly chlorinated OPFRs) were detected in the indoor air. All nine OPFRs were found on the window surfaces and the highest concentrations, which occurred in the reference preschool, were measured for 2-ethylhexyl diphenyl phosphate (EHDPP) (maximum concentration: 1500 ng/m2). Interestingly, the OPFR levels in the environmental certified low-energy preschools were lower than those in the reference preschool and the non-certified low-energy preschool, probably attributed to the usage of environmental friendly and low-emitting building materials, interior decorations, and consumer products.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018
Keywords
Organophosphate flame retardant, Plasticizer, Low-energy preschool, Environmental certified building, Indoor dust, Surface wipe
National Category
Analytical Chemistry Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Environmental Chemistry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-65565 (URN)10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.02.053 (DOI)000432462000018 ()29432927 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85041523162 (Scopus ID)
Note

Funding Agencies:

Healthy Building Forum (HBF)

Örebro University

Department of Occupational and Environ-mental Medicine at Örebro University Hospital

Available from: 2018-03-08 Created: 2018-03-08 Last updated: 2018-11-21Bibliographically approved
4. Chemical emissions from building materials used in low-energy constructions and their presence in the indoor air
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Chemical emissions from building materials used in low-energy constructions and their presence in the indoor air
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Analytical Chemistry Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-70263 (URN)
Available from: 2018-11-21 Created: 2018-11-21 Last updated: 2018-11-21Bibliographically approved

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