Ozone-Initiated Secondary Emission Rates of Aldehydes from Indoor Surfaces in Four Homes


Field experiments were conducted in four homes during summer to quantify ozone-induced secondary emission rates (SERs) of aldehydes on indoor surfaces. Four surfaces in each house were examined: living room carpet, living room wall, kitchen floor, and kitchen counter. Upon exposure to ozone for 3 h, formaldehyde and C3-C10 saturated aldehydes, especially nonanal, were emitted as products of ozone-surface reactions. Carpet in newer homes had higher SERs than carpet in older homes. For example, the nonanal SER from the living room carpet was 80 g m-2 h-1 in a 1 year old home, but only 8-20 g m-2 h-1 in two homes that were greater than 10 years old. All kitchen countertops were very reactive and high SERs were observed, especially for nonanal. Product yields from countertops were consistent with the products of ozone reactions with oleic and linoleic esters, common in cooking oils. These findings suggest that carpet surfaces become depleted of reactants as they become oxidized over time. However, countertop surfaces, which are cleaned frequently or become covered in cooking oils, are continuously replenished with reactants. over time, countertops may become the dominant contributor to indoor concentrations of secondary aldehydes. However, when total surface area is taken into account for the homes assessed, carpet is predicted to be the primary source of secondary emissions, even for older homes.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering


National Science Foundation (U.S.)

Keywords and Phrases

Emission Rates; Indoor Surfaces; Ozone-Initiated; Aldehydes

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2006 American Chemical Society (ACS), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2006