All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Claudiu T Lungu

Advisory Committee Members

Shaun A Crawford

Dale A Dickinson

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2017

Degree Name by School

Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) School of Public Health

Abstract

In recent years, several incidents have caused public concern about the levels of formaldehyde present in residential homes. It is one of the most prevalent and regularly detected pollutants in an indoor environment. This is due to the presence of formalde-hyde in many common products, such as household cleaners and paints, as well as build-ing materials. Formaldehyde exposure can lead to sore throat, coughing, eye and airway irritation, and increased occurrences of asthma symptoms. Due to the public health con-cerns, this research was designed to investigate the distinctive nature of formaldehyde emissions from laminate flooring and test the reliability of John C. Little’s Mass Transfer Model at elevated temperatures. Two types of flooring were tested for formaldehyde emissions in this study, uninstalled laminate flooring and previously installed laminate flooring. The previously installed flooring was installed December 2014 and removed July 2015. To determine the formaldehyde emission profile of the flooring, a formalde-hyde monitor and floor samples with a loading factor ranging between 2 and 4 m-1 were placed in an environmental test chamber for seven days. Emission tests were conducted at 30°C and 50°C. The previously installed flooring exposed to 30°C remained below the detection limit, so an emission factor could not be calculated. The uninstalled flooring exposed to 50°C emitted the highest concentration of formaldehyde, with an average emission factor of 0.34. The second highest concentration came from the previously in-stalled flooring exposed to 50°C, with an average emission factor of 0.15, but after 24 hours the emission levels were below the level of detection. The uninstalled flooring ex-posed to 30°C had the lowest emission factor of 0.04, but continuously emitted formal-dehyde throughout the testing period. The model concentrations at 30℃ are lower than the concentrations detected in the environmental test chamber, whereas the opposite is true for model concentrations at 50°C. Based on the results of this research, it is conclud-ed that emissions are temperature dependent and the mass transfer model does not accu-rately predict emissions when exposed to high temperatures.

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