Decline of VOC Concentrations with the Aging of Houses in Japan


The purpose of this investigation is to know the long-term characteristics of VOC concentrations in houses built before the building code in 2003 and to clarify the countermeasures against indoor air pollution in the houses already built. For example, the improvements of living habits, ventilation and the remove of building materials. The concentrations of VOCs were measured in these houses in summer and winter from 2000 to 2005. The results showed that the concentration of formaldehyde decreased in the first year. After that the decline of the concentration was not seen and the concentration changed only with the temperature. The characteristics of decline were thought to be caused by two sorts of emission. One is an emission of concealed formaldehyde in the process of material production and the other is an emission with the generation of formaldehyde from adhesives of urea resin and moisture. The concentration of toluene decreased rapidly in the first year. The concentrations of xylene, ethyl-benzene and styrene showed a similar change. But the concentrations of acetaldehyde which were measured from the summer of 2002 did not decrease and its concentration in some houses was higher than the guideline even in the winter of 2005.

Share and Cite:

M. Hayashi and H. Osawa, "Decline of VOC Concentrations with the Aging of Houses in Japan," Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 4 No. 12A, 2013, pp. 33-40. doi: 10.4236/jep.2013.412A1004.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] H. Motoya and O. Haruki, “The Influence of the Concealed Pollution Sources upon the Indoor Air Quality in Houses,” Building and Environment, Vol. 43, 2008, pp. 329-336.
[2] H. Motoya, E. Masamichi and H. Yoshiko, “Annual Characteristics of Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality in Detached Houses Using a Simulation Method with Japanese Daily Schedule Model,” Building and Environment, Vol. 36, No. 6, 2001, pp. 721-731.
[3] H. Osawa and M. Hayashi, “Status of the Indoor Air Chemical Pollution in Japanese Houses Based on the Nationwide Field Survey from 2000 to 2005,” The International Journal of Building Science and Its Applications Building and Environment, Vol. 44, 2009, pp. 1330-1336.
[4] K. Kumagai, K. Ikeda, M. Hori, T. Matsumura, A. Nozaki, H. Kimura, et al., “Field Study on Volatile Organic Compounds in Residences,” Journal of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Engineering: Transactions of AIJ, No. 522, 1999, pp. 45-52.
[5] Y. Hiroshi, A. Kentaro, M. Mari, N. Koji, I. Koichi, N. Atsuo, et al., “Long-Termed Field Survey of Indoor Air Quality and Health Hazards in Sick House,” Journal of Asian Architecture and Building Engineering, Vol. 3, No. 2, 2004, pp. 297-303.
[6] Y. P. Zhang, X. X. Luo, X. K. Wang, K. Qian and R. Y. Zhao, “Influence of Temperature on Formaldehyde Emission Parameters of Dry Building Materials,” Atmospheric Environment, Vol. 41, No. 15, 2007, pp. 3203-3216.
[7] B. Son, P. Breysse and W. Yang, “Volatile Organic Compound Concentrations in Residential Indoor and Outdoor and Its Personal Exposure in Korea,” Environment International, Vol. 29, No. 1, 2003, pp. 79-85.
[8] I. Aydin, G. Colakoglu, S. Colak and C. Demirkir, “Effects of Moisture Content on Formaldehyde Emission and Mechanical Properties of Plywood,” Building and Environment, Vol. 41, No. 10, 2006, pp. 1311-1316.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.