Comment; Ozone is reacting with cyclic and polycyclic compounds and generating additional VOC’s.  This is expected.  Ozone is reactive.  Reactive entities & radicals react with more stable larger compounds to break them into smaller compounds, react further with smaller compounds to continue to break them down to ever-smaller constituents.

Volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) have been measured in a freshly carpeted 20 m3 stainless-steel room in both the absence and presence of ozone (ozone concentrations ranging from 30 to 50 ppb, with one experiment conducted at 400 ppb).  Four different types of carpeting were exposed, and in each set of experiments, the room was ventilated at 1 air exchange/h.  The gas-phase concentrations of selected carpet emissions (e.g. 4-phenylcyclohexene, 4-vinylcyclohexene, and styrene) significantly decreased in the presence of ozone.  Conversely, the concentrations of other compounds (e.g. formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and aldehydes with between 5 and 10 carbons) significantly increased.  Furthermore, the total concentration of VOC’s increased markedly in the presence of ozone.  The additional VOCs appear to have been generated by reactions between ozone and the relatively nonvolatile compounds associated with the carpets.  These studies suggest that VOCs measured within a building at elevated ozone levels (>30 ppb) may differ from those measured at lower levels (<10 ppb).

Dr. Raymond Oenbrink
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