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Field measurements of human VOC bioeffluents using PTRMS


Human-emitted volatile organic compounds and other trace gases often dominate concentrations of occupied indoor atmospheres. With the application of real-time mass spectrometry, it has become possible to measure time-resolved behaviour of breath metabolites, skin emanations including oil oxidation products and microbial VOCs, and other bioeffluents. The temporal and mass spectral resolution enables deeper understanding of their impact on air quality, VOC exposure, and sensory perceptions. Per-person CO2 and VOC emissions derived from similar groups of students indicate consistencies in major breath metabolites. Skin-emitted VOCs can be differentiated from volatilization of consumer care products by their distinctive diurnal patterns. Here we synthesize recent approaches to time-resolved measurements of human bioeffluents by PTRMS to inspire new research directions in indoor air science.

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