Source apportionment of volatile organic compounds in Hong Kong homes

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


Indoor volatile organic compound (VOC) data obtained in 100 Hong Kong homes were analyzed to investigate the nature of emission sources and their contributions to indoor concentrations. A principal component analysis (PCA) showed that off-gassing of building materials, household products, painted wood products, room freshener, mothballs and consumer products were the major sources of VOCs in Hong Kong homes. The source apportionments were then evaluated by using an absolute principal component scores (APCS) technique combined with multiple linear regressions. The results indicated that 76.5 ± 1% (average ± standard error) of the total VOC emissions in Hong Kong homes attributes to the off-gassing of building materials, followed by the room freshener (8 ± 4%), household products (6 ± 2%), mothballs (5 ± 3%) and painted wood products (4 ± 2%). Analysis on the source strength in the monitored homes revealed that although six indoor sources were identified and quantified in the Hong Kong homes, only some homes were responsible for the elevated concentrations of target VOCs emitted from these sources. The findings provide us the mechanism of reducing levels of indoor VOCs and ultimately lead to cost effective reduction in population exposures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2280-2286
Number of pages7
JournalBuilding and Environment
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2011


  • Hong Kong
  • Source apportionment
  • Volatile organic compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

Cite this