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Indoor and outdoor aldehyde concentrations in a medium-sized French town

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Abstract

Aldehydes are air pollutants with the potential to act as strong sensory irritants. Outdoors, these compounds play a part in the complex system of photochemical atmospheric reactions, and they are directly released by traffic and other combustion sources. Indoors, numerous emission sources have been identified, for example tobacco smoking or furniture. The objective of the present study was to measure average concentrations of selected aldehydes in typical urban environments. A pilot study was carried out in Nancy, a medium-sized town in the Northeast of France. Outdoor concentrations of seven aldehydes were measured by exposing passive samplers for two periods each lasting five days. 30 samplers were installed at background sites and at sites where people spend more of their time. Moreover, 20 volunteers were equipped with personal samplers, which they carried on them during the first five days. Concentrations were also measured in their homes and offices. The results show that the highest outdoor concentrations are found in the centre of Nancy. However, aldehyde concentrations are much higher indoors than outdoors, even when compared with a period of meteorological conditions "favouring" higher aldehyde concentrations. Office and home concentrations agree with concentrations obtained with personal samplers. It is furthermore shown that the sum of formaldehyde and acetaldehyde concentrations may be used as a tracer for the group of aldehydes studied.
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ineris-00972223 , version 1 (03-04-2014)

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Roman Meininghaus, Norbert Gonzalez-Flesca, André Cicolella, Emmanuelle Bastin. Indoor and outdoor aldehyde concentrations in a medium-sized French town. Air Pollution 2001, Sep 2001, Ancona, Italy. ⟨ineris-00972223⟩

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