Plastic materials, solvents, varnishes, coatings, insulating materials, glues, carpets, foams, textiles and other products may all emit volatile organic compounds that contribute to the deterioration of ambient air quality in terms of odors and pollutants. The emission may originate from unreacted monomer, plasticizers, flame retardants, processing aids, biocides and decomposition products. These contaminants are of particular concern in confined spaces such as car interiors, houses and offices.
This report outlines the key issues regarding emissions from plastics. It summarizes the published research on a wide variety of materials and settings. New methods of analysis and testing have been developed or adapted to examine these emissions. Environmental test chambers have been built in a wide variety of sizes. Variables in experiments include temperature, humidity and air flow. There are standard quantities of materials to test depending on the application, for example, 0.4 m2/m3 for floorings and 0.5 m2/m3 for paint. Emission rates alter over time and it is important to know a product's profile.
Many attempts have been made to classify odor. The various methods and descriptors are discussed in this review, from the categories in use by Toyota to the 'Champs des doers'. In some cases panels of volunteers are used, in other instances electronic sensors have been developed. Food flavor can also be affected by plastic packaging.
Data from analysis work on air quality and emissions from plastics is included in this report.
The review is accompanied by around 530 abstracts from papers and books. A subject index and a company index are included.
2 Analysis of Emissions
2.1 Sampling of Emissions
2.1.1 Headspace Analysis
2.1.2 Direct Thermal Extraction
2.1.3 Environmental Test Chambers and Cells
188.8.131.52 Environmental Test Chambers
184.108.40.206 Emission Test Cell
2.2 Analysis of Emissions
2.2.1 Chemical Analysis
2.2.2 Sensory Analysis
3 Emissions from Plastics
3.1 Emissions During Processing
3.2 Emissions During Treatment
3.3 Emissions During Storage
3.4 Emissions During End-Use
3.4.1 Building Applications
220.127.116.11 PVC Wall and Floor Coverings
18.104.22.168 Particleboard and Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) Products
22.214.171.124 Latex Paints
126.96.36.199 Evaluation of the Effects of VOC Emissions on Human Health
3.4.2 Automotive Applications
188.8.131.52 Small Part Testing
184.108.40.206 Parts Testing
220.127.116.11 Vehicle Testing
3.4.3 Packaging Applications
Abbreviations and Acronyms
Catherine Henneuse and Tiphaine Pacary are experienced researchers in the field of emissions from plastics.
Catherine Henneuse studied at the Université Catholique de Louvain (B). She obtained her bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1994 and then her PhD in organic chemistry in 1999. She took a Post Doctoral Fellowship in 1999 in collaboration with Essilor group. Then she joined Certech as research associate. At the moment she is a project manager in the field of emissions and odors from materials.
Tiphaine Pacary studied at the Polytechnic Institute of Lorraine (F) and graduated in 2001 from the European School for Material Engineering (EEIGM, Nancy). Since 2001 she has worked as a project manager at CERTECH where her basic interest is the study of Volatile Organic Compounds emitted from indoor materials.