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Real-Time and Integrated Measurement of Potential Human Exposure to Particle-Bound Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) from Aircraft Exhaust

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Abstract: Real-time monitors and low-volume air samplers were used to measure the potential human exposure to airborne polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations during various flight-related and ground-support activities of C-130H aircraft at an Air National Guard base. Three types of photoelectric aerosol sensors (PASs) were used to measure real-time concentrations of particle-bound PAHs in a break room, downwind from a C-130H aircraft during a four-engine run-up test, in a maintenance hangar, in a C-130H aircraft cargo bay during cargo-drop training, downwind from aerospace ground equipment (AGE), and in a C-130H aircraft cargo bay during engine running on/off (ERO) loading and backup exercises. Two low-volume air samplers were collocated with the real-time monitors for all monitoring events except those in the break room and during in-flight activities. Total PAH concentrations in the integrated-air samples followed a general trend: downwind from two AGE units > ERO-loading exercise > four-engine run-up test > maintenance hangar during taxi and takeoff > background measurements in maintenance hangar. Each PAH profile was dominated by naphthalene, the alkyl-substituted naphthalenes, and other PAHs expected to be in the vapor phase. Particle-bound PAHs, such as fluoranthene, pyrene, and benzo[a]pyrene, were also detected in some of the sample extracts. During flight-related exercises, total PAH concentrations in the integrated-air samples were 10?25 times higher than those commonly found in ambient air. Real-time monitor mean responses generally followed the integrated-air sample trends. These monitors provided a semi-quantitative temporal profile of ambient PAH concentrations and showed that PAH concentrations can fluctuate rapidly from a baseline level below 20 ng m-3 to > 4,000 ng m-3 during flight-related activities. Small handheld models of the PAS monitors exhibited potential for assessing incidental personal exposure to particle-bound PAHs in engine exhaust and for serving as a real-time dosimeter to indicate when respiratory protection is advisable.

This abstract has been subjected to Agency review and approved for publication.
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Citation:Childers, J. W., C. L. Witherspoon, L. B. Smith, and J. D. Pleil. Real-Time and Integrated Measurement of Potential Human Exposure to Particle-Bound Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) from Aircraft Exhaust. ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PERSPECTIVES 108(9):853-862, (2000).
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Contact: Liz Hope - (919) 541-2785 or hope.elizabeth@epa.gov
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Division: Human Exposure & Atmospheric Sciences Division
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Branch: Exposure Methods & Monitoring Branch
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Product Type: Journal
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Published: 09/01/2000
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Related Entries:
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Bullet Item Xenobiotic Methods Development for Human Exposure Assessment Research
spacer Relationship Reason:   A Project of the Product
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Last Updated on Monday, October 22, 2007
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