Evaluation of hazardous airborne carbonyls in five urban roadside dwellings: A comprehensive indoor air assessment in Sri Lanka

Chi Sing Chan, Ranasinghege Sampath Aravinda Ranasinghe, Steven Sai Hang Ho, Kin Fai Ho, Steve Hung Lam Yim, A. G.T. Sugathapala, Shuncheng Lee, Wing Tat Hung, Yu Huang, Hong Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Indoor hazardous airborne carbonyls were quantified in five natural-ventilated roadside dwellings in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The total concentrations of all targeted carbonyls ranged from 13.6 to 18.6 μg/m 3. Formaldehyde (C1) was the most abundant carbonyl, followed by acetaldehyde (C2) and acetone (C3K). The concentrations of C1 and C2 ranged from 3.3 to 8.5 μg/m 3 and 2.3 to 4.4 μg/m 3, respectively, which accounted for 23 to 42% and 18 to 26% respectively, to the total quantified carbonyls. The highest carbonyls levels were obtained in the dwelling located in an urban district with a mixture of industrial, commercial and residential areas. Much lower concentrations of carbonyls were measured in a light local traffic value was counted. Moderate correlations between individual combustion markers from vehicular emissions suggest the strong impacts from traffics to the indoor airs. The concentrations of C1 and C2 were compared with international indoor guidelines established by different authorities. A health assessment was conducted by estimation of inhalation cancer risk, implementing the inhalation unit risk values provided by Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), associated with C1 and C2, which were 6.2 × 10 −5 and 7.7 × 10 −6, respectively. Even though the risks did not reach the action level (1 × 10 −4), their health impact should not be overlooked. This kick-off indoor monitoring study provides valuable scientific data to the environmental science community since only limit data is available in Sri Lanka.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-277
Number of pages8
JournalAtmospheric Pollution Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • Carbonyls
  • Carcinogenic
  • Dwelling
  • Indoor air quality
  • Sri Lanka

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Atmospheric Science


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