VOC concentrations measured in personal samples and residential indoor, outdoor and workplace microenvironments in EXPOLIS-Helsinki, Finland

Rufus Edwards (Corresponding Author), Jouni Jurvelin, Kristina Saarela, Matti Jantunen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

189 Citations (Scopus)


Thirty target volatile organic compounds (VOC) were analyzed in personal 48-h exposure samples and residential indoor, residential outdoor and workplace indoor microenvironment samples as a component of EXPOLIS-Helsinki, Finland. Geometric mean residential indoor concentrations were higher than geometric mean residential outdoor concentrations for all target compounds except hexane, which was detected in 40% of residential outdoor samples and 11% of residential indoor samples, respectively. Geometric mean residential indoor concentrations were significantly higher than personal exposure concentrations, which in turn were significantly higher than workplace concentrations for compounds that had strong residential indoor sources (d-limonene, alpha pinene, 3-carene, hexanal, 2-methyl-1-propanol and 1-butanol). 40% of participants in EXPOLIS-Helsinki reported personal exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). Participants in Helsinki that were exposed to ETS at any time during the 48-h sampling period had significantly higher personal exposures to benzene, toluene, styrene, m,p-xylene, o-xylene, ethylbenzene and trimethylbenzene. Geometric mean ETS-free workplace concentrations were higher than ETS-free personal exposure concentrations for styrene, hexane and cyclohexane. Geometric mean personal exposures of participants not exposed to ETS were approximately equivalent to time weighted ETS-free indoor and workplace concentrations, except for octanal and compounds associated with traffic, which showed higher geometric mean personal exposure concentrations than any microenvironment (o-xylene, ethylbenzene, benzene, undecane, nonane, decane, m,p-xylene, and trimethylbenzene). Considerable differences in personal exposure concentrations and residential levels of compounds with mainly indoor sources suggested differences in product types or the frequency of product use between Helsinki, Germany and the United States.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4531-4543
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number27
Publication statusPublished - 2001
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • personal exposure
  • exposure
  • indoor concentrations
  • volatile organic compounds
  • VOC
  • VOC emissions
  • street traffic
  • environmental tobacco smoke
  • air pollution
  • health hazards
  • health risks


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