[Evaluation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from household products by small chamber test method].
Identification and removal/replacement of sources of indoor air pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and aldehydes, are most effective measures to reduce indoor chemical exposures. For instance, formaldehyde emissions from building materials have been successfully decreased by the restrictions on interior finishing materials under the amended Building Standard Low in Japan. This study was performed to estimate quantitatively influence of household products on indoor air quality. VOC emissions were investigated for 51 products including interior materials, bedclothes, stationeries, toys and printed matters by the small chamber test method (JIS A 1901) under the standard conditions of 28 degrees C, 50% relative humidity and 0.5 times/h ventilation. Total VOC (TVOC) emissions from the tablecloth and gloves, both of which were made of polyvinyl chloride, showed the highest emission rates; over 2000 microg/(m2 x h) after 1 day, and then rapidly decreased to less than 500 microg/(m2 x h) in a week. Among stationeries/toys for schoolchildren and infants, jigsaw puzzle and play mat exhibited higher TVOC emission rates (38 and 24 microg/(m2 x h) after 1 day, respectively). As for VOCs emitted from printed matters, high boiling-point compounds (higher than that of n-tridecane) were typically identified along with toluene, xylenes and ethylbenzene. These results revealed that VOC emissions from household products may influence significantly indoor air quality.