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Car indoor air pollution by volatile organic compounds and aldehydes in Japan

1 Faculty of Environment and Information Sciences, Yokohama National University, Kanagawa 240-8501 Japan
2 Graduate School of Environment and Information Sciences, Yokohama National University, Kanagawa 240-8501 Japan
3 Isuzu Advanced Engineering Center, LTD., Kanagawa 252-8501 Japan
4 Department of Fisheries, University of Dhaka, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh

Fifty-five organic substances including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and aldehydes present in indoor air were measured from 24 car cabins in Japan. A screening-level risk assessment was also performed. Acetaldehyde (3.81–36.0 μg/m3), formaldehyde (3.26–26.7 μg/m3), n-tetradecane (below the method quantification limit (<MQL) to 47.7 μg/m3), toluene (4.23–78.3 μg/m3), and n-undecane (<MQL to 6.24 μg/m3) concentrations exceeded method detection limits in all the investigated car cabins. Ratios between indoor and outdoor concentrations revealed that most organic compounds originated from the car interior materials. Total volatile organic compound (TVOC) concentrations in 14 car cabins (58% of all car cabins) exceeded the advisable values established by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan (400 μg/m3). The highest TVOC concentration (1136 μg/m3) was found in a new car (only one month since its purchase date). Nevertheless, TVOC concentrations exceeded the advisable value even for cars purchased over 10 years ago. Hazard quotients (HQs) for formaldehyde obtained using measured median and highest concentrations in both exposure scenarios for occupational use (residential time in a car cabin was assumed to be 8 h) were higher than that expected, a threshold indicative of potential adverse effects. Under the same exposure scenarios, HQ values for all other organic compounds remained below this threshold.
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Copyright Info: © 2016, Masahiro Tokumura, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

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