Periodical or series: International Wood Products Journal 

ECO-SEE Authors: Bangor University (Stefanowski, B.K., Simon Curling, Graham Ormondroyd)

N° & Date: Jan. 2017

Publisher: Maney Publishing 

Place of publication: UK

Relevant pages: 

Permanent identifier: 

Open access: NO



The increased effort to improve energy efficiency, has led to improved “air-tightness” of buildings, therefore leading to a reduction in ventilation. This results in an increase in concentration of indoor air pollutants, such as formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are suspected to contribute to “sick building syndrome” (SBS), causing headaches and depression and can act as an irritant to skin, eyes and the respiratory system. The sources of VOCs are vast, ranging from humans, carpets, sealants, burning organic material, wood and cleaning products. Over the years, there has been considerable research into the reduction of emissions from their original source and modifying current construction products to actively absorb air pollutants, when in service. Such modifications include use of bio-resins, odourless paints and inorganic and organic additives to products. One modification is to use solid additives, termed “scavengers” in wood-based panels. However, the use of such organic additives may cause an increase or decrease of a panel’s vulnerability to biological activity. This paper examines the effects of these scavengers on mould growth and the absorption of the VOCs: toluene, limonene and formaldehyde. Additionally, the effect of the sorption of VOCs on the colonisation and growth of different mould species on modified MDF panels, was also studied.