2003 Progress Report: VOC Exposure in an Industry Impacted Community

EPA Grant Number: R828678C003
Subproject: this is subproject number 003 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R824834
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Mickey Leland National Urban Air Toxics Research Center (NUATRC)
Center Director: Beskid, Craig
Title: VOC Exposure in an Industry Impacted Community
Investigators: Buckley, Timothy
Institution: The Johns Hopkins University
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: January 2, 2001 through December 31, 2005 (Extended to December 31, 2008)
Project Period Covered by this Report: January 2, 2003 through December 31, 2004
RFA: Mickey Leland National Urban Air Toxics Research Center (NUATRC) (1997) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , Targeted Research


The objective of this project was to measure volatile organic compound (VOC) concentrations for personal exposure assessment by monitoring individuals and indoor and outdoor environments within a South Baltimore community in proximity to industrial emissions. The study was a response to community concerns over the potential health hazard due to the intensity and proximity of industrial sources. A sample of forty (40) adults and fifteen (15) children in forty homes in this community were monitored for indoor, outdoor, and personal exposures to VOCs. The substances measured included benzene, 1,3-butadiene, and carbon tetrachloride. In addition to monitoring individuals and environments in the community, control subjects (fifteenadult and child pairs) in a reference community were monitored. As a result of these measurements, source apportionment was attempted for these specific chemicals.

The main objectives were to: (1) provide VOC exposure information to a concerned community; (2) apportion indoor and outdoor sources; and (3) evaluate benzene as an exposure biomarker.

The Mickey Leland National Urban Air Toxics Research Center (NUATRC) support supplemented a previous U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant, which monitored 30 residents of the exposed community and 15 residents of the comparison unexposed community with organic vapor monitor (OVM) VOC badges. Separately, the NUATRC support supplemented a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) first award to measure biomarkers of benzene exposure of the exposed community residents.

Progress Summary:

This project was developed in response to NUATRC RFA 98-03, “NUATRC New Investigators Small Grants Program,” intended to foster the development of short-term research projects on exposures/health effects of urban air toxics by new investigators. The study protocol was approved by the Johns Hopkins Institutional Review Board and the human subject consent is in compliance with government regulations. The study is also in compliance with appropriate quality control and quality assurance procedures as per NUATRC and EPA guidelines.

Sampling for the study and analyses of the VOCs were completed in the fall of 2001. During 2002, the investigators completed the analysis of the air exchange rates measurements and cotinine analysis. Analyses of urine samples for the benzene metabolite, trans, trans-muconic acid (MA), were completed. For the remaining part of 2002, the investigators focused their efforts on data analysis and report preparation.

The Draft Final NUATRC Research Report was received at the Center in December 2002, and was reviewed by a team of external peer-reviewers. A no-cost extension was granted through December 2003 for revision of the final report.

A Revised Final report which addressed the external peer review was received by the Center in September 2003. The report has been reviewed by the SAP and is currently available on the National Center for Environmental Research Web Site. The study has been granted a no-cost extension through August 2004 in order to complete scientific editing and publication.

The study results show that the influence of industry on community air quality is undetected for most VOCs, although an industry impact (outdoor & indoor) was suggested for m,p-xylene and ethylbenzene. Indoor source contribution was indicated for most VOCs (11 of 15), and although the sample size was small, parent/child exposures were found to be associated. With dietary sorbic acid restriction, a marginal predictive association was seen for MA and benzene exposure.

Future Activities:

  • Scientific editing of the Revised Final Report.
  • Publication of the Report.

Journal Articles on this Report : 2 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other subproject views: All 3 publications 3 publications in selected types All 2 journal articles
Other center views: All 144 publications 62 publications in selected types All 53 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Payne-Sturges DC, Schwab M, Buckley TJ. Closing the research loop: a risk-based approach for communicating results of air pollution exposure studies. Environmental Health Perspectives 2004;112(1):28-34. R828678C003 (2003)
R828678C003 (2004)
R828678C003 (Final)
not available
Journal Article Payne-Sturges DC, Burke TA, Breysse P, Diener-West M, Buckley TJ. Personal exposure meets risk assessment: a comparison of measured and modeled exposures and risks in an urban community. Environmental Health Perspectives 2004;112(5):589-598. R828678C003 (2003)
R828678C003 (2004)
R828678C003 (Final)
not available

Supplemental Keywords:

RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, PHYSICAL ASPECTS, Air, ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, POLLUTANTS/TOXICS, HUMAN HEALTH, Air Pollution, particulate matter, air toxics, Environmental Chemistry, Health Risk Assessment, Exposure, Chemicals, Risk Assessments, Susceptibility/Sensitive Population/Genetic Susceptibility, Physical Processes, Biology, Risk Assessment, carbon tetrachloride, copollutant exposures, sensitive populations, atmospheric particulate matter, air pollutants, biomarkers, cardiopulmonary responses, fine particles, PM 2.5, long term exposure, inhaled pollutants, acute lung injury, acute cardiovascular effects, benzene, chemical mixtures, susceptible subpopulations, cardiopulmonary response, chronic health effects, human exposure, industrial air pollution, lung inflammation, particulate exposure, butadiene, Acute health effects, inhaled, PM, human susceptibility, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), acute exposure, air quality, atmospheric chemistry, exposure assessment, human health risk, toxics, environmental hazard exposures, air contaminant exposure, co-pollutants

Relevant Websites:

http://www.sph.uth.tmc.edu/mleland/ Exit

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 2001 Progress Report
  • 2002 Progress Report
  • 2004 Progress Report
  • 2005
  • 2006
  • 2007
  • Final Report

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R824834    Mickey Leland National Urban Air Toxics Research Center (NUATRC)

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R824834C001 Air Toxics Exposures Among Teenagers in New York City and Los Angeles - A Columbia-Harvard Study (TEACH)
    R824834C002 Cardiopulmonary Response to Particulate Exposure
    R824834C003 VOC Exposure in an Industry Impacted Community
    R824834C004 A Study of Personal Exposure to Air Toxics Among a Subset of the Residential U.S. Population (VOC Project)
    R824834C005 Methods Development Project for a Study of Personal Exposures to Toxic Air Pollutants
    R824834C006 Relationship Between Indoor, Outdoor and Personal Air (RIOPA)
    R824834C007 Development of the "Leland Legacy" Air Sampling Pump
    R824834C008 Source Apportionment of Indoor Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Urban Residences
    R824834C009 Development of a Personal Cascade Impactor Sampler (PCIS)
    R824834C010 Testing the Metals Hypothesis in Spokane
    R828678C001 Air Toxics Exposures Among Teenagers in New York City and Los Angeles—A Columbia-Harvard Study (TEACH)
    R828678C002 Cardiopulmonary Effects of Metal-Containing Particulate Exposure
    R828678C003 VOC Exposure in an Industry Impacted Community
    R828678C004 A Study of Personal Exposure to Air Toxics Among a Subset of the Residential U.S. Population (VOC Project)
    R828678C005 Oxygenated Urban Air Toxics and Asthma Variability in Middle School Children: A Panel Study (ATAC–Air Toxics and Asthma in Children)
    R828678C006 Relationship between Indoor, Outdoor and Personal Air (RIOPA). Part II: Analyses of Concentrations of Particulate Matter Species
    R828678C007 Development of the “Leland Legacy” Air Sampling Pump
    R828678C008 Source Apportionment of Indoor PAHs in Urban Residences 98-03B
    R828678C009 Development of a Personal Cascade Impactor Sampler (PCIS)
    R828678C010 Testing the Metals Hypothesis in Spokane
    R828678C011 A Pilot Geospatial Analysis of Exposure to Air Pollutants (with Special Attention to Air Toxics) and Hospital Admissions in Harris County, Texas
    R828678C012 Impact of Exposure to Urban Air Toxics on Asthma Utilization for the Pediatric Medicaid Population in Dearborn, Michigan
    R828678C013 Field Validation of the Sioutas Sampler and Leland Legacy Pump – Joint Project with EPA’s Environmental Technology Validation Program (ETV)
    R828678C014 Performance Evaluation of the 3M Charcoal Vapor Monitor for Monitor Low Ambient Concentrations of VOCs
    R828678C015 RIOPA Database Development
    R828678C016 Contributions of Outdoor PM Sources to Indoor and Personal Exposures: Analysis of PM Species Concentrations” Focused on the PM Speciation and Apportioning of Sources
    R828678C017 The Short and Long-Term Respiratory Effects of Exposure to PAHs from Traffic in a Cohort of Asthmatic Children