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Title: Indoor air quality in the Karns research houses: baseline measurements and impact of indoor environmental parameters on formaldehyde concentrations

Abstract

Baseline indoor air quality measurements, a nine-month radon study, and an environmental parameters study examining the impact of indoor temperature (T) and relative humidity (RH) levels on formaldehyde (CH 2O) concentrations have been performed in three unoccupied research homes located in Karns, Tennessee. Inter-house comparison measurements of (1) CH 2O concentration, (2) CH 20 emission rates from primary CH 20 emission sources, (3) radon and radon daughter concentrations, and (4) air exchange rates indicate that the three homes are similar. The results of the nine-month radon study indicate indoor concentrations consistently below the EPA recommended level of 4 pCi/L. Evidence was found that crawl-space concentrations may be reduced using heat pump systems whose outdoor units circulate fresh air through the crawl-spaoe. The modeled results of the environmental parameters study indicate approximate fourfold increases in CH 20 concentrations from 0.07 to 0.27 ppm for seasonal T and RH conditions of 20°C, 30% RH and 29°C, 80% RH, respectively. Evaluation of these environmental parameters study data with steady-state CH 2O concentration models developed from laboratory studies of the environmental dependence of CH 2O emissions from particleboard underlayment indicate good correlations between the laboratory and field studies.

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
12202927
Report Number(s):
ORNL/TM-9433
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-84OR21400
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; DC - 11 - Environmental Control Technology and Earth Sciences

Citation Formats

Matthews, T. G., Fung, K. W., Tromberg, B. J., and Hawthorne, A. R.. Indoor air quality in the Karns research houses: baseline measurements and impact of indoor environmental parameters on formaldehyde concentrations. United States: N. p., 1985. Web. doi:10.2172/12202927.
Matthews, T. G., Fung, K. W., Tromberg, B. J., & Hawthorne, A. R.. Indoor air quality in the Karns research houses: baseline measurements and impact of indoor environmental parameters on formaldehyde concentrations. United States. doi:10.2172/12202927.
Matthews, T. G., Fung, K. W., Tromberg, B. J., and Hawthorne, A. R.. Sun . "Indoor air quality in the Karns research houses: baseline measurements and impact of indoor environmental parameters on formaldehyde concentrations". United States. doi:10.2172/12202927. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/12202927.
@article{osti_12202927,
title = {Indoor air quality in the Karns research houses: baseline measurements and impact of indoor environmental parameters on formaldehyde concentrations},
author = {Matthews, T. G. and Fung, K. W. and Tromberg, B. J. and Hawthorne, A. R.},
abstractNote = {Baseline indoor air quality measurements, a nine-month radon study, and an environmental parameters study examining the impact of indoor temperature (T) and relative humidity (RH) levels on formaldehyde (CH2O) concentrations have been performed in three unoccupied research homes located in Karns, Tennessee. Inter-house comparison measurements of (1) CH2O concentration, (2) CH20 emission rates from primary CH20 emission sources, (3) radon and radon daughter concentrations, and (4) air exchange rates indicate that the three homes are similar. The results of the nine-month radon study indicate indoor concentrations consistently below the EPA recommended level of 4 pCi/L. Evidence was found that crawl-space concentrations may be reduced using heat pump systems whose outdoor units circulate fresh air through the crawl-spaoe. The modeled results of the environmental parameters study indicate approximate fourfold increases in CH20 concentrations from 0.07 to 0.27 ppm for seasonal T and RH conditions of 20°C, 30% RH and 29°C, 80% RH, respectively. Evaluation of these environmental parameters study data with steady-state CH2O concentration models developed from laboratory studies of the environmental dependence of CH2O emissions from particleboard underlayment indicate good correlations between the laboratory and field studies.},
doi = {10.2172/12202927},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Dec 01 00:00:00 EST 1985},
month = {Sun Dec 01 00:00:00 EST 1985}
}

Technical Report:

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  • An environmental parameters study has examined the impact of indoor temperature (T) and relative humidity (RH) levels on formaldehyde (CH/sub 2/O) concentrations inside two unoccupied research houses where the primary CH/sub 2/O emitter is particleboard underlayment. The data were fit to a simple three-term, steady state model describing the T and RH dependence of CH/sub 2/O concentration in a single compartment with a single CH/sub 2/O emitter. The model incorporates an Arrhenius T dependence and a nonlinear RH dependence of the CH/sub 2/O vapor concentration within the solid CH/sub 2/O emitter. The RH dependence is based on Freundlich's theory ofmore » the adsorption of water vapor on solid surfaces. The model is used to estimate potential seasonal variation in CH/sub 2/O concentrations under specified experimental conditions inside the research houses. The modeled results indicate six- to ninefold variation between 18/sup 0/C, 20% RH and 32/sup 0/C, 80% RH, simulating potential winter/summer conditions with minimal indoor climate control. In comparison, indoor conditions ranging from 20/sup 0/C, 30% RH to 26/sup 0/C, 60% RH yielded approximate two- to fourfold fluctuations in CH/sub 2/O concentration. The research house data were also used to evaluate the limitations and applicability of more complex five-term models developed from small-scale chamber studies of the environmental dependence of CH/sub 2/O emissions from particleboard underlayment.« less
  • The EPA Indoor Air Quality Implementation Plan provides information on the direction of EPA's indoor air program, including the Agency's policy on indoor air and priorities for research and information dissemination over the next two years. EPA submitted the report to Congress on July 2, 1987 as required by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986. There are five appendices to the report: Appendix A--Preliminary Indoor Air Pollution Information Assessment; Appendix B--FY 87 Indoor Air Research Program; Appendix C--EPA Radon Program; Appendix D--Indoor Air Resource History (Published with Appendix C); Appendix E--Indoor Air Reference Data Base.
  • The FY 87 Indoor Air Research Program summarizes the research projects undertaken in FY 87. The projects are categorized under Problem Characterization, Mitigation Assessment and Actions, and Information Dissemination.
  • The paper describes an approach for analyzing the impact of sources of indoor air quality (IAQ) based on chamber studies, modeling, and test house studies. Source emission factors are developed in chamber studies. The emission factors are used in an IAQ model that incorporates room-to-room air movement, sinks, and air exchange with the outdoors to predict indoor air pollution concentrations from the source. Test house experiments are used to verify the model and identify unmodeled factors. The agreement between model predictions based on chamber emission factors and test house data is excellent.
  • The paper discusses EPA's research program on indoor air quality. Now in its third year, it is a broad-based program that includes: field surveys of pollutant concentrations in homes, characterization of emissions from sources, health studies of genotoxic and irritant/neurobehavioral effects, and a limited amount of research and development of indoor air-quality controls. The primary emphasis in all areas is on organic compounds, except for controls, where emphasis is on particles (although even there the orientation is partly organic, since indoor-air respirable particles are mostly organic condensation aerosols). The area of greatest overall emphasis has been on a national fieldmore » survey of air-quality in homes. The field survey will obtain distributions of exposure estimates to indoor and outdoor air pollutants. It will help confirm whether indoor concentrations are in fact much higher than outdoor concentrations, as suggested by several small field studies that have been done to date. Research on indoor sources, health effects, and indoor air quality controls will continue to be significant components of the program. In addition, EPA's basic programs in air pollution research are likely to be increasingly influenced by indoor air-quality concerns.« less