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Indoor VOCs from Religious and Ritual Burning Practices in India

Category: Articles

Volume: 14 | Issue: 5 | Pages: 1418-1430
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2013.09.0291

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Shamsh Pervez 1, Shippi Dewangan1, Rajan Chakrabarty2, Barbara Zielinska2

  • 1 School of Studies in Chemistry, Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur- 492010 (C.G.), India
  • 2 Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV 89512, USA


Measurements of selected volatile organic compounds (VOCs), known as markers of emissions resulting from burning practices using natural- and synthetic biomaterials, have been carried out in major religious/ritual-indoors in India. Four different religious/ritual-indoors were selected for monitoring purposes: 1) Hindu Marriage Places (MP), 2) Muslim Holy Shrines (MG), 3) Buddhist Temples (BT), and 4) Hindu Temples (HT). One pure residential-indoor (RESID) site was also examined for comparison studies. Indoor VOCs sampling was carried out throughout the three seasons of summer, fall and winter of the calendar year of 2012–2013 in Raipur, India. VOCs samples, collected by passive sampling over a 48-h period, were analyzed using thermal desorption (TD), followed by high-resolution gas chromatographic separation and mass spectrometric detection (GC/MS). A total of 14 volatile organic compounds (n-hexane, cyclohexane, n-heptane, n-octane, n-nonane, n-decane, n-undecane, styrene, o-xylene, m,p-xylene, 1,2,4-trimethyl benzene, ethylbenzene, benzene, and toluene.) were quantified. The annual mean concentrations for total VOCs (TVOCs) were 216.61 ± 75.15, 656.34 ± 220.82, 681.75 ± 219.83, 129.51 ± 45.24 and 82.67 ± 40.96 µg/m3 for MP, MG, BT, HT and RESID respectively. The results were found to be higher than the prescribed standards and earlier reported indoor VOCs levels. Indoor/outdoor ratios (I/O), correlation analyses, seasonal variations and indoor/outdoor contributions to the measured levels are also investigated.


VOCs Indoor air quality Religious and ritual places Indoor/outdoor ratio Seasonal variation

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