Indoor air quality (IAQ) assessment in a multistorey shopping mall by high-spatial-resolution monitoring of volatile organic compounds (VOC)

13 November 2019

Amodio, M., Dambruoso, P.R., de Gennaro, G., de Gennaro, L., Demarinis Loiotile, A., Marzocca, A., Stasi, F., Trizio, L., Tutino, M.

Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 2014, 21(23), 13186–13195.

In order to assess indoor air quality (IAQ), two 1-week monitoring campaigns of volatile organic compounds (VOC) were performed in different areas of a multistorey shopping mall. High-spatial-resolution monitoring was conducted at 32 indoor sites located in two storehouses and in different departments of a supermarket. At the same time, VOC concentrations were monitored in the mall and parking lot area as well as outdoors. VOC were sampled at 48-h periods using diffusive samplers suitable for thermal desorption. The samples were then analyzed with gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS). The data analysis and chromatic maps indicated that the two storehouses had the highest VOC concentrations consisting principally of terpenes. These higher TVOC concentrations could be a result of the low efficiency of the air exchange and intake systems, as well as the large quantity of articles stored in these small spaces. Instead, inside the supermarket, the food department was the most critical area for VOC concentrations. To identify potential emission sources in this department, a continuous VOC analyzer was used. The findings indicated that the highest total VOC concentrations were present during cleaning activities and that these activities were carried out frequently in the food department. The study highlights the importance of conducting both high-spatial-resolution monitoring and high-temporal-resolution monitoring. The former was able to identify critical issues in environments with a complex emission scenario while the latter was useful in interpreting the dynamics of each emission source.