Wearable Environmental Monitor To Quantify Personal Ambient Volatile Organic Compound Exposures

Alexander G. Fung, Maneeshin Y. Rajapakse, Mitchell M. Mccartney, Alexandria K. Falcon, Fauna M. Fabia, Nicholas Kenyon, Cristina E Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Air pollution can cause acute and chronic health problems. It has many components, and one component of interest is volatile organic compounds (VOCs). While the outdoor environment may have regulations regarding exposure limits, the indoor environment is often unregulated and VOCs often appear in greater concentrations in the indoor environment. Therefore, it is equally critical to monitor both the indoor and outdoor environments for ambient chemical levels that an individual person is exposed to. While a number of different chemical detectors exist, most lack the ability to provide portable monitoring. We have developed a portable and wearable sampler that collects environmental VOCs in a person's immediate quot;exposure envelopequot; onto custom micro-preconcentrator chips for later benchtop analysis. The system also records ambient temperature and humidity and the GPS location during sampling, and the chip cartridges can be used in sequence over time to complete a profile of individual chemical exposure over the course of hours/days/weeks/months. The system can be programmed to accumulate sample for various times with varying periodicity. We first tested our sampler in the laboratory by completing calibration curves and testing saturation times for various common chemicals. The sampler was also tested in the field by collecting both indoor and outdoor personal exposure samples. Additionally under IRB approval, a teenaged volunteer wore the sampler for 5 days during which it sampled periodically throughout a 12 h period each day and the volunteer replaced the micro-preconcentrator chip each day.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1358-1364
Number of pages7
JournalACS Sensors
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 24 2019


  • asthma
  • environmental monitor
  • environmental sampler
  • volatile organic compounds
  • wearable sensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Instrumentation
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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