NIST Time|NIST Home|About NIST|Contact NIST

HomeAll Years:AuthorKeywordTitle2005-2010:AuthorKeywordTitle

Source of Phenol Emissions Affecting the Indoor Air of an Office Building.

pdf icon Source of Phenol Emissions Affecting the Indoor Air of an Office Building. (1650 K)
Martin, J. W.; Guenther, F. R.; Nguyen, T.; Liggett, W. S., Jr.; Byrd, W. E.; Oakley, L.

NISTIR 5353; 49 p. February 1994.

Available from:

National Technical Information Service
Order number: PB94-154382


phenols; emissions; indoor air quality; office buildings; floor-leveling material; gas chromatography; mass spectrometry; liquid chromatography; sampling plan; thermogravimetric analysis; UV-spectrophotometry; volatile organic compound


For several years, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) employees occupying Floors 3 through 5 of the Silver Spring Metro Center Building One (SSMC-1) in Silver Spring, MD have complained about ailments which they have associated with poor indoor air quality. NOAA and the General Services Administration (GSA) commissioned at least six indoor air quality surveys to seek the causes of these complaints. In one of the later surveys, it was concluded that phenol emissions from an epoxy floor-leveling material used in leveling the floor slabs were causing the indoor air quality complaints from Floors 3 through 5. To obtain an independent analysis and assessment, NOAA and GSA asked the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to ascertain whether phenol (or any other volatile organic compound) was being emitted from the epoxy floor-leveling material and, if so, to recommend remedial actions for mitigating or eliminating the emissions. Prior to investigating the epoxy floor-leveling material, a review was made of the construction and occupancy history of SSMC-1, the installation of the floor-leveling material, occupant complaints about the poor indoor air quality, and the indoor air quality surveys.