Development of formaldehyde reference materials

Tatiana Macé, LNE (FR)

In temperate climate, people spend on average 85% of their time in closed environments and a majority of that time in housing. Different sources (furniture, floors, walls, ceilings) may be responsible for the presence of pollutants in these closed environments. To address the health challenge raised by the quality of indoor air and provide useful elements for the management of this risk to public authorities, the French agency for food, environmental and occupational health and safety (Anses) works since 2004 in the development of indoor air guideline values (IAGVs), based exclusively on health criteria. Since the beginning of this work, Anses identified eleven indoor air pollutants of interest including formaldehyde known for its irritant effects. Since 2004, formaldehyde is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as “proven carcinogen to humans” and since 2007 is subject to IAGVs (short term IAGVs 50 µ/m3 for an exposure of two hours and long term IAGVs 10 µ/m3 for an exposure of more than one year). Many measurement campaigns are regularly carried out, particularly in housing, public buildings including schools and childcare facilities, but also in unusual places such as swimming pools, gymnasiums, etc. To ensure the traceability of formaldehyde measurements performed by the analytical laboratories, LNE has developed Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) which are in the form of cartridges impregnated with 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine (DNPH) containing a known amount of formaldehyde over a mass range of 1 μg to 10 μg corresponding to masses commonly measured in the field of indoor air. The presentation will detail the development of the formaldehyde CRMs.


Pen Profile

Tatiana Macé is chemical engineer and works at the French National Laboratory for metrology and testing (LNE) in Paris. She heads the laboratory of gas and aerosol metrology and has over 25 years’ experience in this field. Her tasks are to contribute to the development of new methods for gas and particles metrology, to organize and to participate in comparison exercises at national and international levels and to estimate uncertainties in air quality measurements. She is responsible for LNE’s activities in the framework of the French National Laboratory for Air Quality Monitoring (LCSQA) which is in charge of the technical coordination of the French monitoring networks for ambient air monitoring. She is also a member of the gas analysis working groups of CCQM and EURAMET.

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