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Monitoring and assessment of indoor air volatile organic compound concentrations in primary schools
Indoor air quality (IAQ) is important mainly because, poor IAQ may cause variety of adverse health effects and people spend majority of their time indoors. One of the most susceptible groups to air pollution is considered as children. Children spend approximately six to eight hours a day in school buildings, therefore the indoor air quality of school buildings should be given utmost importance. Formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have been receiving considerable interest in indoor air field studies because of their high emission rates from products used indoor environments. Thus, their concentrations have been measured in school buildings in many different countries.Indoor and outdoor air samples were collected from three primary schools in İzmir (School 1, School 2, and School 3). Sampling was performed in spring and winter terms. Active sampling was applied for VOCs and formaldehyde by using Tenax TA and DNPH silica gel sorbent tubes, respectively. VOCs were analyzed by using a thermal desorption - gas chromatography - mass spectrometry (TD-GC-MS) system.Formaldehyde analysis was performed by using an HPLC instrument.Benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene and xylenes, which have high toxicity, were detected at high concentrations. In addition, the indoor/outdoor (I/O) concentration ratios of VOCs were investigated. Mean Total VOC (TVOC) and formaldehyde concentrations were calculated for the three schools in winter and spring terms. TVOC and formaldehyde concentrations were 104 .g/m3 and 44.36 ./m3 in winter, and 66.42 .g/m3 and 43.73 .g/m3 in spring terms for School 1; and 50.86 .g/m3 and 30.78 .g/m3 in winter, and 32.1 .g/m3 and 35.82 .g/m3 in spring term for School 2, and 51.09 .g/m3 and 36.53 .g/m3 in spring term for School 3 primary schools, respectively. These concentration values are generally higher than or parallel to the values reported in the literature. The TVOC concentrations in kindergartens were higher than the concentrations in classrooms.