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Title: Indoor pollutants emitted by office equipment: A review ofreported data and information needs

Abstract

There is concern that potentially harmful pollutants may be emitted from office equipment. Although office equipment has been a focal point for governmental efforts to promote energy efficiency through programs such as the US EPA's Energy Star, little is known about the relationship between office equipment use and indoor air quality, and information on pollutant emissions is sparse. In this review, we summarize available information on emission rates and/or ambient concentrations of various pollutants that are related to office equipment use. Experimental methods used in the characterization of emissions are briefly described. The office equipment evaluated in this review includes computers (desktops and notebooks), printers (laser, ink-jet and all-in-one machines) and photocopy machines. Reported emission rates of the following pollutant groups are summarized: volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), ozone, particulate matter and several semivolatile organic chemicals (SVOCs). The latter include phthalate esters, brominated flame retardants, organophosphate flame retardants and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). We also review studies reporting airborne concentrations in indoor environments where office equipment was present and thought to be a significant contributor to the total pollutant burden (offices, residences, schools, electronics recycling plants). For certain pollutants, such as organophosphate flame retardants, the link between emission by office equipmentmore » and indoor air concentrations is relatively well established. However, indoor VOCs, ozone, PAHs and phthalate esters can originate from a variety of sources, and their source apportionment is less straightforward. This literature review identifies substances of toxicological significance, with the purpose of serving as a guide to evaluate their potential importance with respect to human exposures.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley NationalLaboratory, Berkeley, CA (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE; California Air Resources Board.California EnergyCommission through ARB Agreement 04-302
OSTI Identifier:
924853
Report Number(s):
LBNL-62082
Journal ID: ISSN 0004-6981; ATENBP; R&D Project: 00000; BnR: 400408000; TRN: US200809%%594
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Atmospheric Environment; Journal Volume: 42; Journal Issue: 7; Related Information: Journal Publication Date: March 2008
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54; AIR QUALITY; COMPUTERS; EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES; ENERGY EFFICIENCY; ESTERS; FLAMES; INDOORS; INFORMATION NEEDS; OZONE; PARTICULATES; PHTHALATES; POLLUTANTS; POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS; RECYCLING

Citation Formats

Destaillats, Hugo, Maddalena, Randy L., Singer, Brett C., Hodgson, Alfred T., and McKone, Thomas E. Indoor pollutants emitted by office equipment: A review ofreported data and information needs. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
Destaillats, Hugo, Maddalena, Randy L., Singer, Brett C., Hodgson, Alfred T., & McKone, Thomas E. Indoor pollutants emitted by office equipment: A review ofreported data and information needs. United States.
Destaillats, Hugo, Maddalena, Randy L., Singer, Brett C., Hodgson, Alfred T., and McKone, Thomas E. Thu . "Indoor pollutants emitted by office equipment: A review ofreported data and information needs". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/924853.
@article{osti_924853,
title = {Indoor pollutants emitted by office equipment: A review ofreported data and information needs},
author = {Destaillats, Hugo and Maddalena, Randy L. and Singer, Brett C. and Hodgson, Alfred T. and McKone, Thomas E.},
abstractNote = {There is concern that potentially harmful pollutants may be emitted from office equipment. Although office equipment has been a focal point for governmental efforts to promote energy efficiency through programs such as the US EPA's Energy Star, little is known about the relationship between office equipment use and indoor air quality, and information on pollutant emissions is sparse. In this review, we summarize available information on emission rates and/or ambient concentrations of various pollutants that are related to office equipment use. Experimental methods used in the characterization of emissions are briefly described. The office equipment evaluated in this review includes computers (desktops and notebooks), printers (laser, ink-jet and all-in-one machines) and photocopy machines. Reported emission rates of the following pollutant groups are summarized: volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), ozone, particulate matter and several semivolatile organic chemicals (SVOCs). The latter include phthalate esters, brominated flame retardants, organophosphate flame retardants and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). We also review studies reporting airborne concentrations in indoor environments where office equipment was present and thought to be a significant contributor to the total pollutant burden (offices, residences, schools, electronics recycling plants). For certain pollutants, such as organophosphate flame retardants, the link between emission by office equipment and indoor air concentrations is relatively well established. However, indoor VOCs, ozone, PAHs and phthalate esters can originate from a variety of sources, and their source apportionment is less straightforward. This literature review identifies substances of toxicological significance, with the purpose of serving as a guide to evaluate their potential importance with respect to human exposures.},
doi = {},
journal = {Atmospheric Environment},
number = 7,
volume = 42,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Thu Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}
  • The last few decades have seen major changes in how people collect and process information at work and in their homes. More people are spending significant amounts of time in close proximity to computers, video display units, printers, fax machines and photocopiers. At the same time, efforts to improve energy efficiency in buildings by reducing leaks in building envelopes are resulting in tighter (i.e., less ventilated) indoor environments. Therefore, it is critical to understand pollutant emission rates for office equipment because even low emissions in areas that are under-ventilated or where individuals are in close proximity to the pollutant sourcemore » can result in important indoor exposures. We reviewed existing literature reports on pollutant emission by office equipment, and measured emission factors of equipment with significant market share in California. We determined emission factors for a range of chemical classes including volatile and semivolatile organic compounds (VOCs and SVOCs), ozone and particulates. The measured SVOCs include phthalate esters, brominated and organophosphate flame retardants and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Measurements were carried out in large and small exposure chambers for several different categories of office equipment. Screening experiments using specific duty cycles in a large test chamber ({approx}20 m{sup 3}) allowed for the assessment of emissions for a range of pollutants. Results from the screening experiments identified pollutants and conditions that were relevant for each category of office equipment. In the second phase of the study, we used a smaller test chamber ({approx}1 m{sup 3}) to measure pollutant specific emission factors for individual devices and explored the influence of a range of environmental and operational factors on emission rates. The measured emission factors provide a data set for estimating indoor pollutant concentrations and for exploring the importance of user proximity when estimating exposure concentrations.« less
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  • A coordination meeting of the program was held at Argonne National Laboratory on September 17-19, 1986. Representatives from the participating laboratories and from the fusion technology community met to discuss nuclear data needs for fusion. Most of the standing nuclear data requests for fusion were discussed in considerable detail, and the status of the relevant data was reviewed. Task force groups were organized along disciplinary lines to address many of the issues which confront the program. Plans were laid for several collaborative endeavors, including technical projects to address specific data problems and an intercomparison of methods and codes in themore » area of nuclear modeling.« less
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