Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds from Products and Materials in Indoor Environments

  • Tunga Salthammer
Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 4F)


Building products, furnishings and other indoor materials often emit volatile and semivolatile organic compounds (VOCs and SVOCs). With respect to a healthy indoor environment, only low emitting products, which do not influence the indoor air quality in a negative way, should be used in a building. Therefore, materials and products for indoor use need to be evaluated for their chemical emissions. Many emission studies have shown that the types of sources in occupational and residential indoor environments, the spectrum of emitting VOCs and SVOCs, the emission rate and the duration of emission cover a wide range. The demand for standardised test methods under laboratory conditions has resulted in several guidelines for the determination of emission rates by use of test chambers and cells. Furthermore, it is now recognised that both primary and secondary emissions may affect indoor air quality. As a consequence, modern product development should also consider secondary products, which seem to be of importance for long-term emissions. In order to characterise the release of VOCs and SVOCs from materials under realistic conditions, it is important to study the influence of processing, substrate and climatic parameters on emitting species and emission rates.

Building products Emission testing Volatile organic compound Semivolatile organic compound Emission rate 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag  2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Material Analysis and Indoor ChemistryFraunhofer Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut (WKI)BraunschweigGermany

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