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Volume 16, No. 5, May 2016, Pages 1234-1243 PDF(365 KB)  
doi: 10.4209/aaqr.2015.09.0533   

Levels and Health Risk of Carbonyl Compounds in Air of the Library in Guangzhou, South China

Huixiong Lü1, Jun-Jian Tian1, Quan-Ying Cai2, Sheng Wen3, Yonglin Liu3, Ning Li3

1 College of Natural Resources and Environment, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, 510642, China
2 Key Laboratory of Water/Soil Toxic Pollutants Control and Bioremediation of Guangdong Higher Education Institutions, School of Environment, Jinan University, Guangzhou, 510632, China
3 State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, 510640, China


  • Carbonyl levels and risk of library were relatively lower than other microenvironments.
  • Acetone was the most abundant species, followed by formaldehyde and acetaldehyde.
  • Endogenous emission sources contributed significantly to most of indoor carbonyls.



The concentrations of 18 carbonyl compounds and their health risks for people were investigated in indoor and outdoor air of three different rooms of a library in Guangzhou, South China. Indoor air samples were collected during normal activities of staff and students, and carbonyl compounds were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography. The results show that the total concentrations of 18 carbonyls ranged from 8.8 to 73.9 µg m–3 with a mean value of 24.7 µg m–3. Acetone was the most abundant species with a mean value of 10.8 µg m–3 in indoor air, followed by formaldehyde and acetaldehyde. The levels of carbonyls in this study were relatively lower than most of other microenvironments in the literature. The average total concentration of carbonyls in the electronic reading room was higher than those in stack room and compact stack room. Diurnal variation in carbonyl concentrations was not distinct in the three rooms. The indoor/outdoor ratios and Spearman correlation coefficients demonstrated that endogenous emission sources contributed significantly to most of indoor carbonyls, while outdoor infiltration might be one of the main sources for acetaldehyde. The personal exposure, lifetime cancer risk, and non-cancer chronic health impacts through inhalation associated with formaldehyde and acetaldehyde were estimated and discussed.



Keywords: Carbonyl compounds; Library; Indoor air; Health risk.



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