Built Environment

SVOC Emission

We focus on determining the emission characteristics of SVOCs for a wide range of consumer products and building materials. It always time-consuming and took a long time for the gas-phase concentration in the chamber to reach steady state because the emission rate is slow and SVOCs partition strongly to the interior surfaces of the chamber. Recently, we developed a micro-emission cell and needle trap device method and successfully reduced the time for the gas phase to reach steady state to minutes or hours. In the future, we intend to develop high-throughput testing techniques that enable determination of SVOCs emissions and to build up consumer product database with the information of product, SVOC content, and emission parameters.

SVOC Sorption

Because of their low vapor pressure, SVOCs tend to partition onto particles, dust, and other interior surfaces, such as dishware, furniture, clothes, and even human skin, and persist indoors for a long time, which will cause human exposures to SVOCs. Therefore, it is important to investigate SVOC sorption behaviors and determine the surface/air partition coefficient, K. Although a few experimental methods have been developed, the experimental duration is extremely long (0.5 ~ 3months). Therefore, we are going to develop a novel method to measure K value accurately and rapidly. Moreover, the mechanisms that characterized the sorption process as well as the organic film growth will also be investigated. 

Indoor Fate and Transport

Building materials, consumer products, and furnishings contain a vast array of SVOCs that are emitted to indoor environments. These chemicals are ubiquitous in indoor environments, redistributing from their original source to indoor air and interior surfaces including airborne particles, dust, and skin. Since people spend most of their time indoor, they could be exposed to these chemicals via inhalation of air and airborne particles, dermal absorption from air and deposited particles, and ingestion of dust, which may cause adverse health effect on human health. To investigate the fate and transport of chemicals in indoor environment, modeling approach including emission model and multi-media fate and transport model, and experimental approach such as full-scale chamber tests and field measurements have been applied.