Title

Chemical Activity of VOCs in Indoor Air Compared with Activity Polyurethane Foam Cushions

Presenter Information

Dong Pan

Department

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Major

Environmental Engineering

Research Advisor

Morrison, Glenn

Advisor's Department

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Funding Source

National Institute for Standards and Technology

Abstract

There is a need for better measurements of long-term indoor exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in indoor environments due to chronic health effects. Existing measurements capture a narrow time period and neglect concentrations that change over time. In this research, I am studying how the polyurethane foam material, found in furniture cushions, can act as a reservoir and long-term sampler for VOCs. I use solid-phase micro-extraction (SPME), which has been shown to be suitable for sampling organic compounds in indoor, to measure the chemical activity of VOCs in the foam (in my home) and the surrounding air. By analyzing the SPME using gas-chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS) I find that the chemical activities of toluene, dichlorobenzene and limonene in foam are nearly identical to that in air. I conclude that foam, and perhaps other materials in buildings, are suitable air pollution samplers.

Biography

Dong is from Canton, China. Junior student in Environmental Engineering and doing research on indoor air pollution for Dr. Morrison since Nov.2009.

Research Category

Engineering

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Document Type

Poster

Location

Upper Atrium/Hallway

Presentation Date

06 Apr 2011, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

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Apr 6th, 1:00 PM Apr 6th, 3:00 PM

Chemical Activity of VOCs in Indoor Air Compared with Activity Polyurethane Foam Cushions

Upper Atrium/Hallway

There is a need for better measurements of long-term indoor exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in indoor environments due to chronic health effects. Existing measurements capture a narrow time period and neglect concentrations that change over time. In this research, I am studying how the polyurethane foam material, found in furniture cushions, can act as a reservoir and long-term sampler for VOCs. I use solid-phase micro-extraction (SPME), which has been shown to be suitable for sampling organic compounds in indoor, to measure the chemical activity of VOCs in the foam (in my home) and the surrounding air. By analyzing the SPME using gas-chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS) I find that the chemical activities of toluene, dichlorobenzene and limonene in foam are nearly identical to that in air. I conclude that foam, and perhaps other materials in buildings, are suitable air pollution samplers.