Measurement of PCB emissions from building surfaces using a novel portable emission test cell

Nadja Lyng, Lars Bo Gunnarsen, Helle Vibeke Andersen, Vivi Koefoed-Sørensen, Per Axel Clausen

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

4 Citationer (Scopus)


Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were used in building materials like caulks and paints from 1930
e1970s and in some cases that caused elevated PCB concentrations in the indoor air at levels considered harmful to occupant health. PCBs are semivolatile organic compounds and capable of spreading from the original source to adjacent materials, indoor air and via adsorption from the air to indoor surfaces, causing secondary contaminations. Remediation of buildings with unsatisfactory indoor air concentrations is a complex and difficult task due to the secondary contamination of building materials and there is a need to prioritise remediation measures on different materials. An inexpensive and portable emission test cell was developed to resemble indoor conditions in relation to the area specific ventilation rate. Emissions were measured using the test cell in the laboratory on freshly made PCB paint. Further, the chamber was used for determining emissions from PCB-containing building materials in the field as well as remediated walls. The measurements showed that sorption of PCBs to chamber walls was insignificant after 2-4 days of exposure to the source. Over a period of two weeks emission rates did not change from
any of the tested surfaces, however in the laboratory experiment emission rates decreased over a longer period (48 days) and was most pronounced for the lower chlorinated PCBs.
TidsskriftBuilding and Environment
Sider (fra-til)77-84
Antal sider8
StatusUdgivet - 15 maj 2016


  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • Emission test cell
  • Emission rate
  • Building materials
  • Semivolatile organic compound (SVOCs)
  • Indoor air