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      Efficiency and performance tests of the sorptive building materials that reduce indoor formaldehyde concentrations

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          Abstract

          The adsorption of volatile organic compounds by building materials reduces the pollutant concentrations in indoor air. We collected three interior building materials with adsorption potentials—latex paint, micro-carbonized plywood, and moisture-buffering siding—used the sorptive building materials test (SBMT) to determine how much they reduced indoor formaldehyde (HCHO) concentrations, and then assessed the consequent reduction in human cancer risk from HCHO inhalation. Adsorption of HCHO by building materials significantly improved the effective ventilation efficiency. For example, the equivalent ventilation rate for Celite siding—used for humidity control—was 1.44 m 3/(m 2·h) at 25°C, 50% relative humidity (RH); the loading factor (L) was 0.4 m 2/m 3, and the HCHO concentration was 0.2 ppm; this effect is equivalent to a higher ventilation rate of approximately 0.6 air changes per hour in a typical Taiwanese dwelling. There was also a substantial reduction of risk in Case MCP-2 (C in,te: 245 μg/m 3, 30°C, 50% RH): males: down 5.73 × 10 −4; females: down 4.84 × 10 −4). The selection of adsorptive building materials for interior surfaces, therefore, significantly reduces human inhalation of HCHO. Our findings should encourage developing and using innovative building materials that help improve indoor air quality and thus provide building occupants with healthier working and living environments.

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          Most cited references 37

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          Cancer effects of formaldehyde: a proposal for an indoor air guideline value

          Formaldehyde is a ubiquitous indoor air pollutant that is classified as “Carcinogenic to humans (Group 1)” (IARC, Formaldehyde, 2-butoxyethanol and 1-tert-butoxypropanol-2-ol. IARC monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans, vol 88. World Health Organization, Lyon, pp 39–325, 2006). For nasal cancer in rats, the exposure–response relationship is highly non-linear, supporting a no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) that allows setting a guideline value. Epidemiological studies reported no increased incidence of nasopharyngeal cancer in humans below a mean level of 1 ppm and peak levels below 4 ppm, consistent with results from rat studies. Rat studies indicate that cytotoxicity-induced cell proliferation (NOAEL at 1 ppm) is a key mechanism in development of nasal cancer. However, the linear unit risk approach that is based on conservative (“worst-case”) considerations is also used for risk characterization of formaldehyde exposures. Lymphohematopoietic malignancies are not observed consistently in animal studies and if caused by formaldehyde in humans, they are high-dose phenomenons with non-linear exposure–response relationships. Apparently, these diseases are not reported in epidemiological studies at peak exposures below 2 ppm and average exposures below 0.5 ppm. At the similar airborne exposure levels in rodents, the nasal cancer effect is much more prominent than lymphohematopoietic malignancies. Thus, prevention of nasal cancer is considered to prevent lymphohematopoietic malignancies. Departing from the rat studies, the guideline value of the WHO (Air quality guidelines for Europe, 2nd edn. World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen, pp 87–91, 2000), 0.08 ppm (0.1 mg m−3) formaldehyde, is considered preventive of carcinogenic effects in compliance with epidemiological findings.
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            Inhaled formaldehyde: evaluation of sensory irritation in relation to carcinogenicity.

            The critical health effects of formaldehyde exposure include sensory irritation and the potential to induce tumours in the upper respiratory tract. In literature, a concentration as low as 0.24 ppm has been reported to be irritating to the respiratory tract in humans. Nasal tumour-inducing levels in experimental animals seem to be 1-2 orders of magnitude larger. In this paper, the subjectively measured sensory irritation threshold levels in humans are discussed in line with findings obtained in animal experiments. In addition, a Benchmark dose (BMD) analysis of sensory irritation was used to estimate response incidences at different formaldehyde concentrations. Data on respiratory irritation and carcinogenicity of formaldehyde were retrieved from public literature and discussed. BMD analysis was carried out on human volunteer studies using the US-EPA BMD software. Subjective measures of irritation were the major data found in humans to examine sensory (eye and nasal) irritation; only one study reported objectively measured eye irritation. On a normalized scale, mild/slight eye irritation was observed at levels 1 ppm, and mild/slight respiratory tract irritation at levels 2 ppm. With the BMD software, it was estimated that at a level of 1 ppm, only 9.5% of healthy volunteers experience 'moderate' (i.e., annoying) eye irritation (95% upper confidence limit). An important factor modulating the reported levels of irritation and health symptoms most probably includes the perception of odour intensity. In several studies, the 0-ppm control condition was missing. From the results of the long-term inhalation toxicity studies in experimental animals, a level of 1 ppm formaldehyde has been considered a NOAEL for nasal injury. Sensory irritation is first observed at levels of 1 ppm and higher. From both human and animal studies, it was concluded that at airborne levels for which the prevalence of sensory irritation is minimal both in incidence and degree (i.e., <1 ppm), risks of respiratory tract cancer are considered to be negligibly low.
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              Modeling emissions of volatile organic compounds from new carpets

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: InvestigationRole: Methodology
                Role: Methodology
                Role: MethodologyRole: Project administration
                Role: InvestigationRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: MethodologyRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                24 January 2019
                2019
                : 14
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Department of Architecture, College of Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
                [2 ] Department of Wood Science and Design, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Pingtung, Taiwan
                [3 ] Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Medical College, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
                [4 ] Institute of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
                National Sun Yat-sen University, TAIWAN
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Article
                PONE-D-18-15260
                10.1371/journal.pone.0210416
                6345484
                30677054
                © 2019 Huang et al

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 3, Pages: 15
                Product
                Funding
                This work was funded by Architecture and Building Research Institute, Taiwan Ministry of the Interior. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Categories
                Research Article
                Physical Sciences
                Chemistry
                Physical Chemistry
                Sorption
                Adsorption
                Physical Sciences
                Chemistry
                Chemical Compounds
                Organic Compounds
                Formaldehyde
                Physical Sciences
                Chemistry
                Organic Chemistry
                Organic Compounds
                Formaldehyde
                Physical Sciences
                Chemistry
                Physical Chemistry
                Sorption
                Earth Sciences
                Atmospheric Science
                Meteorology
                Humidity
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Physiology
                Physiological Processes
                Respiration
                Inhalation
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Physiology
                Physiological Processes
                Respiration
                Inhalation
                Physical Sciences
                Chemistry
                Chemical Compounds
                Organic Compounds
                Volatile Organic Compounds
                Physical Sciences
                Chemistry
                Organic Chemistry
                Organic Compounds
                Volatile Organic Compounds
                Ecology and Environmental Sciences
                Pollution
                Air Pollution
                People and Places
                Geographical Locations
                Asia
                Taiwan
                Custom metadata
                All relevant data are within the manuscript and its Supporting Information files.

                Uncategorized

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