Carbonyl compounds in air were measured at two houses, three museums, and two offices. All sites lacked air-conditioning systems. Although indoor and outdoor air was measured simultaneously at each site, the sites themselves were sampled in different dates. Mean concentrations were higher in indoor air. Outdoor means concentrations of acetone were the highest in all sites, ranging from 12 to 60 μgm-3. In general, formaldehyde and acetaldehyde had similar mean concentrations, ranging from 4 to 32 and 6 to 28 μgm-3, respectively. Formaldehyde and acetone mean indoor concentrations were the highest, ranging from 11 to 97 and 17 to 89 μgm-3, respectively, followed by acetaldehyde with 5 to 47 μgm-3. Formaldehyde and acetaldehyde had the highest mean concentration in the offices where there were smokers. Propionaldehyde and butyraldehyde concentrations did not show definite differences between indoor and outdoor air. In general, the highest outdoor and indoor hourly concentrations were observed from 10:00 to 15:00 h. Mean indoor/outdoor ratios of carbonyls exceeded 1. Formaldehyde and acetaldehyde risks were higher in smoking environments. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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