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Causes of Variability in Concentrations of Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers in Indoor air

TitleCauses of Variability in Concentrations of Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers in Indoor air
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsHazrati S, Harrad S
Journal TitleEnvironmental Science & Technology
Volume40
Pages7584-7589
AbstractAirborne concentrations of PCBs and PBDEs weremeasured in offices, homes, public environments, andcars. Variations in concentrations between different roomsin the same domestic and office buildings, showed someintra-building variability for both compound groups. Stepwisemultiple linear regression analysis revealed no clear andconsistent relationships between log-normalized concentrationsof PCBs and PBDEs in homes and offices andfactors such as the number of personal computers. Thisis considered to reflect the complexity of relationshipsbetween indoor air contamination and microenvironmentcharacteristics. The influence of personal computers wasdemonstrated when PBDE concentrations in one officefell appreciably following the exchange of a computerconstructed in 1998 for one dating from 2003. Concentrationsof PCBs in buildings constructed between 1950 and 1979were significantly higher (p <0.001) than in those constructedsince. When two of the most contaminated cars wereomitted as outliers, a significant (p < 0.01) positive linearrelationship was detected between PBDE concentrationsand vehicle age. Concentrations of PCBs and PBDEs weremonitored throughout a calendar year in four homes andfour offices. Although concentrations in warmer monthsusually exceeded those in colder months, seasonal variabilityin indoor contamination appears less significant thanobserved previously for outdoor air.
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