Comparison of formaldehyde emission from building finishing materials at various temperatures in under heating system; ONDOL

Sumin Kim, Hyun Joong Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this research was to investigate the effect of various temperatures, room, 37 and 50°C, on formaldehyde emission from floor materials, such as laminate and plywood floorings, and furniture materials, such as MDF and particleboard veneered with decorative paper foil, by desiccator's method. The temperature conditions were set up by, measuring the temperature in a Korean under heating system. To maintain an indoor air temperature of 20°C, the temperature of the flooring surface was about 37°C and the temperature of the cement mortar was 50°C. The initial formaldehyde emission of the laminate flooring and plywood flooring was 1.44 and 0.63 mg/l, and for MDF and particleboard it was 4.73 and 4.95 mg/l, respectively. Floor materials were under E1 grade while furniture materials were under E2 grade in terms of formaldehyde emission. Because of the under heating system, the flooring materials were exposed to 37 and 50°C, while the furniture materials mostly existed at room temperature. At 37 and 50°C, the formaldehyde emission level of the flooring materials was already under 0.3 ppm (FWhite starWhite starWhite starWhite star level by JIS A 1460, application possibility without area limit) after 10 days and the emission had decreased further (0.03-0.10 mg/l) after 28 days. These levels are not injurious to the human body and will not cause sick house syndrome (SHS). The problem, however, is the furniture materials such as MDF and particleboard. As these materials are not exposed to high temperature (50°C in this experiment) in living condition, it was still E2 grade of formaldehyde emission level at room temperature remained even after 28 days. Although there will be variations with the volume of furniture materials and the indoor conditions, furniture materials are the principal cause of indoor air quality pollution in Korean with the under heating system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-325
Number of pages9
JournalIndoor Air
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Oct

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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