Evaluating indoor exposure modeling alternatives for LCA: A case study in the vehicle repair industry Page: 3 of 26
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volatile organic compound (VOC) concentration measurements, integrated far-field area
samples, and simulated experiments were used in estimating parameters, such as
emission rates, diffusivity, and near-field dimensions. We assessed differences in model
input requirements and their efficacy for predictive modeling. The One-box model was
not able to resemble the temporal profile of exposure concentrations, but it performed
well concerning time-weighted exposure over extended time periods. However, this
model required an adjustment for spatial concentration gradients. Multi-zone models and
diffusion-models may solve this problem. However, we found that the reliable use of
both these models requires extensive field data to appropriately define pivotal parameters
such as diffusivity or near-field dimensions. We conclude that it is difficult to apply these
models for predicting VOC exposures in the workplace. However, for comparative
exposure scenarios in life-cycle assessment they may be useful.
KEYWORDS. Exposure model, VOC, life cycle assessment
BRIEFS. Modeling alternatives for occupational exposure are evaluated for their
standard use life cycle assessment (LCA).
For many hazardous chemicals, concentrations and exposures in indoor environments are
consistently and significantly higher than in ambient outdoor environments .
Consequently, inhalation intake fractions of indoor emissions can exceed those of
outdoor emissions by several orders of magnitude [1-3]. For example, in vehicle repair
shops, solvents in "aerosol" cans are used in large quantities during tasks such as engine
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Demou, Evangelia; Hellweg, Stefanie; Wilson, Michael P.; Hammond, S. Katharine & McKone, Thomas E. Evaluating indoor exposure modeling alternatives for LCA: A case study in the vehicle repair industry, article, May 1, 2009; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc926735/m1/3/: accessed December 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.