Background Image

Exposure Assessment of Trace Levels of Airborne Volatile Organic Compounds
Mentor: Dr. Alan Rossner
Department: Institute for a Sustainable Environment

Sustainability is the balance between the pillars of social, economic and environmental factors in order to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Human health is a common thread that links the three pillars of sustainability. While the relationships between air pollution and sustainability have often focused on outdoor air, indoor air quality can often be a more serious concern. People in the US spend the majority of their time indoors (>90%), and the quality of air indoors may presents a greater risk to their health than outdoor air. This may be true in homes, schools and office buildings in addition to industrial operations. Students in the REU program will work in my lab focusing on exposure assessments strategies in indoor environments and propose effective control systems to improve indoor air quality. Exposure measurements will be collected in built environments and analyzed in my lab using gas chromatography/mass spectrometer . The data will be used to evaluate effective control system for indoor air pollutants and their sources such as volatile organic compounds, controlled infestations of microbial and fungal organisms, managed dust and odor accumulation, as well as adequate ventilation and air filtration provides for a more sustainable living environment.