Conifer-Derived Monoterpenes and Forest Walking
Conifer and broadleaf trees emit volatile organic compounds in the summer. The major components of these emissions are volatile monoterpenes. Using solid phase microextraction fiber as the adsorbant, monoterpenes were successfully detected and identified in forest air samples. Gas chromatography/mass chromatogram of monoterpenes in the atmosphere of a conifer forest and that of serum from subjects who were walking in a forest were found to be similar each other. The amounts of α-pinene in the subjects became several folds higher after forest walking. The results indicate that monoterpenes in the atmosphere of conifer forests are transferred to and accumulate in subjects by inhalation while they are exposed to this type of environment.