Levels of Volatile Methyl Siloxanes in Outdoor Air

  • Eva GallegoEmail author
  • Pilar Teixidor
  • Francisco Javier Roca
  • José Francisco Perales
Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 89)


Field data showing volatile methyl siloxane (VMS) concentrations in the atmosphere is still limited. Outdoor air concentrations are highly conditioned by population, being VMS values much higher in urban locations than in remote regions, generally in the range of ng m−3, one to three orders of magnitude lower than other volatile organic compounds commonly found in the atmosphere. Cyclic VMS (cVMS) are the most abundant compounds, with concentrations up to 2–3 orders of magnitude higher than those of the linear VMS (lVMS). This abundance is related to the large production and use of cVMS globally. In urban areas, lVMS are generally in the range of 1–20 ng m−3. On the other hand, cVMS present much higher concentrations, ranging from a few hundred to several thousand ng m−3. A limited number of studies evaluating VMS in outdoor air include background and rural locations. Background regions generally present VMS levels one order of magnitude lower than those usually found in urban areas, with lVMS concentrations between 0.01 and 1 ng m−3. In contrast, cVMS concentrations range from 1 to 100 of ng m−3. In the Arctic, lVMS are seldom observed, but cVMS are usually found in the range of 0.1 and 4 ng m−3. The regulation and establishment of air quality criterions for VMS are still very limited worldwide. Evaluations regarding human and environmental exposure to these compounds would be mandatory in the future, as well as the establishment of air quality standards.


Air quality Cyclic volatile methyl siloxanes Linear volatile methyl siloxanes Outdoor air Volatile methyl siloxanes 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eva Gallego
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pilar Teixidor
    • 2
  • Francisco Javier Roca
    • 1
  • José Francisco Perales
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratori del Centre de Medi AmbientEscola Tècnica Superior d’Enginyeria Industrial de Barcelona (ETSEIB), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (LCMA-UPC)BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Centres Científics i TecnològicsUniversitat de Barcelona (CCiTUB)BarcelonaSpain

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