Volatile organic compounds in indoor air: A review of concentrations measured in North America since 1990

Publication Type




Central tendency and upper limit concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) measured in indoor air are summarized and reviewed. Data were obtained from published cross-sectional studies of residential and office buildings conducted in North America from 1990 through 2001. VOC concentrations in existing residences reported in 12 studies comprise the majority of the data set. Central tendency and maximum concentrations are compared between new and existing residences and between existing residences and office buildings. Historical changes in indoor VOC concentrations since the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 are explored by comparing the current data set with two published reviews of previous data obtained primarily in the 1980s. These historical comparisons suggest average indoor concentrations of some toxic air contaminants, such as 1,1,1-trichloroethane have decreased.

Year of Publication