Studies show that forests are one of the main recreational destinations. This can be explained by their beneficial effects on the health of their visitors, which can be attributed to compounds from the terpene group. The aim of this research was to determine the chemical composition of air in the interiors of Nemoral Scots pine forests and submountainous beech forests, with the determination of compounds of the terpene group. Samples of organic compounds present in the air were collected with the use of Tenax TA sorbent tubes. The process of separation, identification, and determination of the extracted organic compounds was carried out with the use of the gas chromatography technique integrated with a flame ionization detector. Additional identification of the extracted compounds was carried out with the use of GC coupled with mass spectrometry. The most abundant group of compounds was the aliphatic hydrocarbons, both saturated (linear and branched) and unsaturated (terpenes). Carbonyl compounds were also found in the collected samples, but they constituted no more than 10% of all compounds present on the chromatograms. The concentrations of terpenes and terpenoids in the forest atmosphere varied from 10 to 74 µg·m-3, representing on average 33% of the total volatile organic compounds.
Keywords: environmental quality; forest air; forest bathing; public health; terpenes.