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Investigation of the Pollution Level and Affecting Factors of Formaldehyde in Typical Public Places in Guangxi, China

Category: Urban Air Quality

Volume: 17 | Issue: 11 | Pages: 2816-2828
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2017.08.0272
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Wei Hong1, Mianwu Meng 1,2,3,4, Junliang Xie1, Dingding Gao1, Yibei Zeng1, Hao Ai1, Chunqiang Chen1,2,3,4, Siyu Huang1,2,3,4, Zhenming Zhou1,2,3,4

  • 1 College of Environment and Resources, Guangxi Normal University, Guilin, Guangxi 541004, China
  • 2 Key Laboratory of Ecology of Rare and Endangered Species and Environmental Protection, Guilin, Guangxi 541004, China
  • 3 Key Laboratory of Karst Ecology and Environment Change, Guangxi Department of Education, Guilin, Guangxi 541004, China
  • 4 Guangxi Key Laboratory of Environmental Pollution Control Theory and Technology, Guilin, Guangxi 541004, China


A detailed investigation of the formaldehyde levels in four public places in Guangxi.
The over standard rate of the formaldehyde tested in furniture markets was 94%.
The over standard rates of the formaldehyde in malls and hotels were 87% and 20%.
Wood-related decorations and products were the major sources of indoor formaldehyde.
The methods for improving indoor air quality were systematically discussed.


This study focused on measuring the concentration of formaldehyde in furniture markets, malls, hotels, and restaurants in Guilin, Liuzhou, and Nanning in Guangxi China. Correlations between the indoor formaldehyde concentration and temperature, humidity, and air change rate were also obtained. The sixty sampled public places selected for this study represented the typical public indoor environment in Guangxi. The over standard rates of formaldehyde concentrations (0.1 mg m–3) measured in furniture markets, malls, and hotels were 94%, 87%, and 20%, respectively. The highest formaldehyde concentrations measured in furniture markets, malls, hotels and restaurants were 0.313 mg m–3, 0.231 mg m–3, 0.111 mg m–3, and 0.082 mg m–3. The overall mean formaldehyde concentrations in these four venues were found to be present in this descending order; furniture market (0.193 mg m–3) > mall (0.147 mg m–3) > hotel (0.079 mg m–3) > restaurant (0.058 mg m–3). This work showed that wood-related decorations and merchandises that contain high levels of formaldehyde, were the major sources of formaldehyde pollution in the indoor environment. Further analysis demonstrated that strong correlations (r > 0.80, p < 0.01) existed between the indoor formaldehyde concentration and temperature, humidity, and air change rate, which indicated that these indoor environmental factors appeared to be other key reasons for the high levels of indoor formaldehyde pollution. The results showed that a decrease in temperature and humidity, or an increase in air change rate in an indoor environment can effectively alleviate the level of indoor formaldehyde pollution. The findings of this study can further promote the development of measures to control indoor air pollution.


Formaldehyde Public places Indoor environment Pollution level Affecting factors

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