PP Polymer AB, Stockholm, Sweden.
The main objective of this paper was to investigate how new parquet flooring affected the indoor air quality (IAQ). The main reason to undertake this study was that the residents, especially children, started having breathing and asthmatic problems when they changed their old flooring with a new parquet flooring.
VOC and aldehydes emissions were measured both for the parquet flooring material and for the indoor air and were found to be remarkably high exceeding all the internationally recommended threshold limits. These high values were assumed to be perhaps the main reasons for health problems.
Based on these measurements, all the new parquet material was removed and changes in both VOC and aldehyde concentrations in indoor air were followed as a function of time. The results show that decrease of VOC and aldehyde concentrations were exceptionally slow under normal conditions and the decrease was not linear as a function of time and it almost reached a plateau after some time. Therefore, accelerated weathering conditions were investigated and reported to obtain safe concentration levels quickly. The main implication of this study is that although wooden flooring materials belong to renewable and sustainable group of materials, it is important to assure that such materials do not have any negative influence on IAQ and thereby may cause health problems.
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