WIT Press

Concentrations Of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) After Home Renovations In Terms Of Hygiene And Environmental Health


Free (open access)





Page Range

307 - 313




357 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


O. Herbarth & S. Matysik


Potential health relevant indoor exposures are volatile organic compounds (VOC) which are particularly high after renovation activities. Objectives: The main aim is the determination of the concentration-time-curve after renovation, and from that the derivation of the time span which has to be waited for until the indoor pollution reaches a reference level. Methods: 26 VOC are selected as part of a VOC-panel which is usually measured to characterize the quality of the indoor air. The decrease in the concentrations after renovations was assessed under real-life situations. Within the first 30 days after renovation VOC were active sampled on 11 different days. As part of an epidemiologic study, the same VOC were passively sampled monthly in 243 homes. GCMS was used to determine the VOC-concentration. An exponential function was used to interpret the concentration decay. Results: The average time range which has to elapse following renovation before a guideline or reference value is reached was between 2 and 8 weeks dependent on the underlying reference value. Conclusions: From the point of prevention this waiting time should at least be applicable to public buildings, and institutions (especially relevant in cases of nurseries, playschools etc.) and in the end to private homes as well to avoid negative health or well being consequences. Keywords: indoor exposure, VOC, renovation, waiting period, hygiene, environmental medicine.


indoor exposure, VOC, renovation, waiting period, hygiene, environmental medicine.