Category Archives: indoor airpollution

indoor airpollution

Search for low-volatile organic compounds

wooden staircase

massive wooden staircase raises suspicion

Benjamin Kramer is looking at his dream house for the second time. A generously cut single-family house from the seventies, solidly built with brickwork and reinforced concrete ceilings. There is not much to complain about. Only the wood in the living and floor area worries him. A massive dark wooden staircase and several ceiling tiles are immediately visible. The attendant expert is feeling the discomfort. After the end of the tour, he therefore proposes that a precautionary analysis of house dust be initiated. Continue reading

Wood preservation glaze as allergens suspected

 2-butanone oxime

2-butanone oxime

Sebastian Merkner went only reluctantly to his office. The self-employed carpenter completed Saturdays always his bills because he could then work undisturbed by the daily business. After a few hours in the room he was nervous and felt like charging. Then there were the headaches and eyestrain. The relationship between the office environment and the discomfort was obvious. Merkner went through the possibilities in his head: Was the beams of the wooden ceiling painted with wood preservatives? Escaped from the formaldehyde glued bookshelf? Was the mastic asphalt under the floor covering of the culprit? The master craftsman brooded for months after the causes of his symptoms.
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If the eyes are burning – think of formaldehyde

formaldehyde in an office

formaldehyde in an office

Six months ago Anne Hopf took up her new job in a public authority in North-Hesse/Germany. She is sitting in an office space of twenty square meters, together with a colleague. In the room are built-in wardrobes, shelves and many about seventy well-stocked folder. Four weeks ago Anne Hopf complains often of headaches and burning eyes. The colleague of Anne, however, has no complaints. The supervisor has addressed the matter and commissioned a building biologists for root cause analysis. Based on the described symptoms and the existing spatial features, the expert suggests an air sample in formaldehyde.
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Zero tolerance for wood preservatives

pcp indoor

wood perservatives indoor

The temptation is great. A young family in northern Bavaria discovered a beautiful home in a great location with the right plan at an affordable price. The prefabricated wooden house was built in the seventies. Manuela Brenner has read of problems with these types of houses and caused a dust sample before buying. Laboratory analysis gives a value of 1 mg of pentachlorophenol (PCP) per kilogram of house dust. How is the health risk to be assessed? If the family to buy the house?
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Long period formaldehyde emission

Formaldehyd indoor pollutionA family from the Bavarian Forest (Germany) has made unpleasant experiences with the longevity of formaldehyde. Two years ago they bought a prefabricated house built in 1975. Initially, the problem did not show up. In the summer was always well ventilated and health problems did not exist. During the winter period dawned residents that something was wrong. The clothes had a strange smell and Ms. Sennerhans plagued a lengthy cold. The analysis of indoor air finally brought certainty: the formaldehyde content in two rooms was above average. Moreover, found the analytical laboratory wood preservatives in house dust.
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Avoid thick air in classrooms

CO2-level in classrooms

CO2-level in classrooms is often too high

In assessing the indoor climate in classrooms, the Department of Environmental Protection Nuremberg/Germany can truly have a say. The municipal employees had carried out from 2012 to 2013 series of measurements in different school categories and also analyzed the conditions. The focus was on the carbon dioxide (CO2) in room air compared to the outside air. The relative humidity and room temperature were recorded in addition to the CO2 content with data loggers. In a nutshell, the result shows the following: indoor air quality, which is commonly found in classrooms is, at least hygienic striking. In many cases it is to be regarded as unacceptable.
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Manipulative spraying of fragrances in the interior

manipulative spraying of fragrances in the interior

spraying of fragrances poses trouble

The use of fragrances in cosmetics, detergents and cleaners has long been known. The conscious and manipulative spraying of fragrances in the interior, however, is more and more fashionable. The fragrance industry has evolved in recent years into a major economic factor. The global turnover is estimated at 18 billion dollars. In Germany, the German Association of the fragrance manufacturer represents the interests of its members. Approx. 3,000 different chemical fragrances are known. Thirty of them are produced in Europe in quantities greater than 1,000 tons per year. For more 750 perfumes annual production is estimated to be longer one ton. In contrast, the number of at least half a million perfume allergy sufferers in Germany, who have suffered greatly from the scenting. Acquired sensitization can not be cured medically. Continue reading

Deadly threat – Carbon monoxide formation in the pellet storage room

deadly threat in the pellet-storage-room

CO could arise

(Berlin) The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment in Germany (BfR) warns of a deadly threat in homes. Both the storage of wood pellets and wood chips, the highly toxic carbon monoxide may form. This is due to auto-oxidation processes in certain wood components that are triggered during the preparation of the wood by crushing, heating and drying. From unsaturated fatty acids, in addition to carbon monoxide (CO) are formed various aldehydes. CO is particularly insidious because it is colorless and odorless. At risk are not only the residents but also the maintenance personnel of heating systems. BfR deaths have been reported by people who had been in a pellet storage room. Continue reading

Airtightness measurement using the blower door method


Blower Door system in practice

The requirement of airtight building envelope is a key concern for the German Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV). Therefore, the standard calls after completion of the construction project, an acceptance test for air tightness. With the blower door technology now a standard airtightness measurement method was created. The DIN EN 13829 regulates the organizational processes, the actual measurement procedure and the necessary instrumentation. With Blower Door can already be seen during construction leaks in the building envelope and eliminate cost-effective. Continue reading

2-chlorpropane increasingly noticeable indoors


2-chlorpropane found in a daycare center

The building department of Stuttgart (Germany) leads for new buildings and renovations in schools and daycare centers routinely measuring pollutants in indoor environments. These precautionary measures proved in case of daycare in Uhrlbach a stroke of luck. It has been found in the laboratory analysis of highly volatile substance (VVOC) 2-chlorpropane. Maybe you would not yet taken the result at the Stuttgart authority seriously, if not available in schools and nursery in Bavaria, the 2-chlorpropane would have noticed. Then, the Ad-hoc-working group of the interior Commision of Federal Environment Agency had responded and recommended values for the tear gas. According to the protocol of the meeting from 22./23. October 2012 stated as a guide-II 8mg/m3 and as a guide-I 0,8 mg/m3. Insiders know that the indicative “guide-I” is considered to be precautionary, to be taken any action. Continue reading