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Assessment of Formaldehyde Concentration in Indoor and Outdoor Environments of Schools in Incheon

인천지역 일부 학교의 실내 및 대기 중 포름알데히드 농도 평가

  • Published : 2007.10.30

Abstract

This study evaluated formaldehyde concentration in classrooms and on roofs at 4 elementary schools, 3 middle schools and 3 high schools in Incheon City. These schools were chosen based on their surrounding environments that included industrial site, landfill, railway, 8-lane road and harbor. Indoor concentration ranged between 4.65 and $56.25{\mu}g/m^3$, while that of outdoor concentration was $1.23{\sim}10.22{\mu}g/m^3$, both of which were below $100{\mu}g/m^3$, a formaldehyde criterion stipulated by the School Health Act. Indoor concentration was higher than outdoor concentration by $1.4{\sim}5.9$ times, and there was a positive correlation between indoor and outdoor formaldehyde concentrations (R=0.49). As for indoor concentration, multi-use practice rooms had an average 2.8 times higher than that of usual classrooms with a statistically significant difference (p<0.01). Indoor formaldehyde concentration had a positive correlation with the construction year (R=0.55). The school close to the industrial complex had the highest ambient formaldehyde concentration, followed by the one near a landfill. The formaldehyde concentration in school in the vicinity of the industrial complex was twice or more than that of the school located other site. In conclusion, this study suggests that it is crucial to consider surrounding environments in selecting school sites, as it can influence ambient air contamination, as well as using construction material that emit less formaldehyde, in order to protect the health of students, teachers and school staff.

Keywords

formaldehyde;school;indoor air quality;surrounding environment

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