Coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) in indoor air

Environ Sci Technol. 2002 Nov 15;36(22):4735-40. doi: 10.1021/es025622u.


Indoor air levels of coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls (mono- and non-ortho substituted PCB) of various buildings were determined. As a consequence of the presence of joint sealings containing PCB, total PCB concentrations in indoor air up to 4,200 ng/m3 were detected (data based on a survey including 29 sampling sites). In a PCB contaminated industrial building, total indoor air PCB levels up to 13,000 ng/m3 were measured. Typical PCB congeners in indoor air include PCB 28, PCB 52, and PCB 101. Concentrations of coplanar (dioxin-like) PCB have been determined for six different sites. The most abundant coplanar PCB congener in indoor air is PCB 118, followed by PCB 105, PCB 123, and PCB 77 in various order. Levels of coplanar PCB, expressed as toxicity equivalents (TEG), do correlate well with the total indoor air PCB concentration: a total PCB level of 1,000 ng/m3 corresponds to a concentration of coplanar PCB of 1.2 pg TEQ/m3. Based on this correlation and on an indoor air PCB level of 6,000 ng/m3 (tentative guideline value for PCB in indoor air in Switzerland based on a daily exposure of 8 h), the maximum daily intake of coplanar PCB via indoor air was estimated to be 0.6 pg TEQ/kg body weight.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution, Indoor / analysis*
  • Body Weight
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Environmental Pollutants / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / analysis*
  • Reference Values
  • Switzerland


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls