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Growth of organic films on indoor surfaces.

  • Author(s): Weschler, CJ;
  • Nazaroff, WW
  • et al.

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We present a model for the growth of organic films on impermeable indoor surfaces. The model couples transport through a gas-side boundary layer adjacent to the surface with equilibrium partitioning of semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs) between the gas phase and the surface film. Model predictions indicate that film growth would primarily be influenced by the gas-phase concentration of SVOCs with octanol-air partitioning (Koa ) values in the approximate range 10≤log Koa ≤13. Within the relevant range, SVOCs with lower values will equilibrate with the surface film more rapidly. Over time, the film becomes relatively enriched in species with higher log Koa values, while the proportion of gas-phase SVOCs not in equilibrium with the film decreases. Given stable airborne SVOC concentrations, films grow at faster rates initially and then subsequently diminish to an almost steady growth rate. Once an SVOC is equilibrated with the film, its mass per unit film volume remains constant, while its mass per unit area increases in proportion to overall film thickness. The predictions of the conceptual model and its mathematical embodiment are generally consistent with results reported in the peer-reviewed literature.

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