Characterisation of volatile organic compounds at hotels in Southern China

Chi Sing Chan, Shuncheng Lee, Wai Hung Chan, Kin Fai Ho, Linwei Tian, Sen Chao Lai, Yok Sheung Li, Yu Huang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


In the recent years, there has been a dramatic growth in the development of hotels in Southern China to meet the rapid demand of business and tourism industry. The indoor air quality of the hotels has become an important consideration due to a large workforce that is engaged in this industry. The objective of this study was to characterise the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in the indoor air in 13 new hotels in Southern China and assess their possible health impact. A 2-day non-simultaneous sampling was carried out in each of the hotels. Decorating materials, cleansing agents and even local regional pollutants outside the hotels could have a contribution and worsen indoor air quality. Toluene level was as high as 498 μg m-3in a hotel fitted with lots of plywood products. The highest concentrations of methylene chloride (34 μg m-3) and total carbonyls (517 μg m-3) were detected in a hotel where high VOCs cleansing agents were used in guest rooms. In a hotel located in an industrial centre, acetone concentration of 102 μg m-3was found. The second highest total VOCs concentration (445 μg m-3) was observed in a newly renovated hotel. Wooden interior fixtures and wall panels were identified as the major sources of VOCs and carbonyls found inside the guest rooms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-429
Number of pages10
JournalIndoor and Built Environment
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2011


  • Carbonyls
  • Hotels
  • Indoor air
  • VOCs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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