Efficiency and performance tests of the sorptive building materials that reduce indoor formaldehyde concentrations

Kun Chih Huang, Yaw Shyan Tsay, Fang Ming Lin, Ching Chang Lee*, Jung Wei Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The adsorption of volatile organic compounds by building materials reduces the pollutant concentrations in indoor air. We collected three interior building materials with adsorption potentials—latex paint, micro-carbonized plywood, and moisture-buffering siding—used the sorptive building materials test (SBMT) to determine how much they reduced indoor formaldehyde (HCHO) concentrations, and then assessed the consequent reduction in human cancer risk from HCHO inhalation. Adsorption of HCHO by building materials significantly improved the effective ventilation efficiency. For example, the equivalent ventilation rate for Celite siding—used for humidity control—was 1.44 m 3 /(m 2 h) at 25C, 50% relative humidity (RH); the loading factor (L) was 0.4 m 2 /m 3 , and the HCHO concentration was 0.2 ppm; this effect is equivalent to a higher ventilation rate of approximately 0.6 air changes per hour in a typical Taiwanese dwelling. There was also a substantial reduction of risk in Case MCP-2 (C in,te : 245 μg/m 3 , 30C, 50% RH): males: down 5.73 × 10 −4 ; females: down 4.84 × 10 −4 ). The selection of adsorptive building materials for interior surfaces, therefore, significantly reduces human inhalation of HCHO. Our findings should encourage developing and using innovative building materials that help improve indoor air quality and thus provide building occupants with healthier working and living environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0210416
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


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