Origin, occurrence, and source emission rate of acrolein in residential indoor air

Environ Sci Technol. 2007 Oct 15;41(20):6940-6. doi: 10.1021/es0707299.


Acrolein, a volatile, unsaturated aldehyde, is a known respiratory toxicant and one of the 188 most hazardous air pollutants identified by the U.S. EPA. A newly developed analytical method was used to determine residential indoor air concentrations of acrolein and other volatile aldehydes in nine homes located in three California counties (Los Angeles, Placer, Yolo). Average indoor air concentrations of acrolein were an order of magnitude higher than outdoor concentrations at the same time. All homes showed similar diurnal patterns in indoor air concentrations, with acrolein levels in evening samples up to 2.5 times higherthan morning samples. These increases were strongly correlated with temperature and cooking events, and homes with frequent, regular cooking activity had the highest baseline (morning) acrolein levels. High acrolein concentrations were also found in newly built, uninhabited homes and in emissions from lumber commonly used in home construction, suggesting indoor contributions from off-gassing and/or secondary formation. The results provide strong evidence that human exposure to acrolein is dominated by indoor air with little contribution from ambient outdoor air.

MeSH terms

  • Acrolein / analysis*
  • Air Pollutants / analysis*
  • Air Pollution, Indoor*
  • California
  • Construction Materials
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Quality Control


  • Air Pollutants
  • Acrolein