Measuring the penetration of ambient ozone into residential buildings

Much of human exposure to ambient ozone and ozone reaction byproducts occurs inside buildings. However, there are currently no experimental data on the ability of ozone to penetrate through building envelopes and into residences. This study presents a method to determine the penetration factor for ozone in buildings, and applies it in an unoccupied test house and seven single-family residences. The mean ((SD) ozone penetration factor was measured as 0.79 ( 0.13 in the eight homes using this method, ranging from 0.62 ) 0.09 to 1.02 ) 0.15. An anal. of tests across the homes revealed that ozone penetration was significantly higher in homes with more painted wood envelope materials, homes with larger air leakage exponents from fan pressurisation tests, and older homes. The test method utilises a large calibrated fan to elevate air exchange rates and steady-state indoor ozone concentrations to levels that can be accurately measured, so there is a potential for overpredicting ozone penetration factors. However, the authors concluded that the evidence suggests that this bias is likely small in most of the homes, and, even if a bias exists, the measured ozone penetration factors were lower than the usual assumption of unity in seven of the eight tested homes.

Authors: Stephens, Brent; Gall, Elliott T.; Siegel, Jeffrey A. ;Full Source: Environmental Science & Technology [online computer file] 2012, 46(2), 929-936 (Eng) ;