Volatile organic compounds in anatomical pathology wards: Comparative and qualitative assessment of indoor airborne pollution

Massimo Cipolla, Alberto Izzotti, Filippo Ansaldi, Paolo Durando, Maria Teresa Piccardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The impact of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) on indoor air quality and on human health is widely recognized. However, VOC contamination in hospital indoor air is rarely studied and chemical compounds that singularly do not show high toxicity are not submitted to any regulation. This study aimed to compare VOC contamination in two different anatomical pathology wards in the same hospital. Hydrocarbons, alcohols, and terpenes were sampled by passive diffusive samplers. Analytical tests were performed by thermal desorption coupled with gas chromatography and mass spectrometry detector. Results highlighted a different VOC pollution in the two wards, due to the structural difference of the buildings and different organizational systems. The scarcity of similar data in the literature shows that the presence of VOCs in pathology wards is an underestimated problem. We believe that, because of the adverse effects that VOCs may have on the human health, this topic is worth exploring further.

Original languageEnglish
Article number609
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 7 2017



  • Human health
  • Indoor pollution
  • VOCs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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