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Sources of formaldehyde, other aldehydes and terpenes in a new manufactured house

Hodgson, A.T., Beal, D., McIlvaine, J.E.R., 2002
Source reduction | Wood products | aldehydes | emissions | formaldehyde | Houses
Bibliographic info: LBNL - Indoor Air, Volume 12, Pages 235-242.
Languages: English

Formaldehyde, less-volatile aldehydes, and terpene hydrocarbons are generally the predominant air contaminants in new manufactured and site-built houses. This study was conducted to identify the major sources of these compounds in a typically constructed, new manufactured house. Specimens of materials used within the house envelope were collected from the production facility. These were individually preconditioned for 19 4 days and tested for emissions of formaldehyde and the other target compounds using small-scale chambers. Several cabinetry materials, passage doors and the plywood subfloor were the predominant sources of formaldehyde and other aldehydes. The plywood subfloor was the predominant terpene source. Whole-house emission rates for combined materials were predicted based on the emission factors and the corresponding material quantities. These predicted rates were compared to whole-house emission rates calculated from measurements made at the house three months after its installation. For 11 of 14 target compounds including formaldehyde, the predicted and calculated rates were within a factor of two. This generally good agreement indicates that the predominant sources were correctly accounted for. Based on these results, practices are proposed for reducing the concentrations of the target compounds in newly constructed houses.

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