2004 Progress Report: Source Apportionment of Indoor PAHs in Urban Residences 98-03B

EPA Grant Number: R828678C008
Subproject: this is subproject number 008 , 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: Source Apportionment of Indoor PAHs in Urban Residences 98-03B
Investigators: Li, An
Institution: University of Illinois at Chicago
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, 2004 through December 31, 2005
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 overall objective of this research project is to measure the concentrations of 16 selected polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the indoor and outdoor environment of 10 homes in a residential area of south Chicago, once a month for 1 year. Using these measurements and different models, the investigator will determine whether the source of the PAHs is coming from indoor or outdoor sources. Because PAHs are toxic (development of lung and skin cancers; gastro-intestinal, urologic, laryngeal, and pharyngeal malignancies; and enhanced immune or allergic responses), identification of the concentrations of PAHs in an indoor environment and an accurate source apportionment of the contributions from indoor and outdoor sources would be helpful in designing strategies for reduction of these exposures.

The specific objectives of the study are to: (1) assess relative contributions from outdoor sources to indoor PAHs in urban homes; (2) identify major sources and estimate emission rates; and (3) examine factors that control/modify indoor PAH concentrations.

Progress Summary:

This research was funded by the Mickey Leland National Urban Air Toxics Research Center (NUATRC) under its small grants New Investigators Award. The 2-year project began in August 1999. The project is compliant with the University of Illinois Institutional Review Board for use of human subject protocols and human consent regulations. The project also is in compliance with appropriate quality control and quality assurance procedures and per NUATRC and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines.

Ten homes in the Chicago area participated in this study on a voluntary basis. They were selected based on the response to a household screening survey questionnaire. Indoor and outdoor air samples at these homes were concurrently collected once a month for a 14-month period. Each sampling lasted 46 hours at an airflow rate of about 10 Lpm. Real-time monitoring and recording of the air quality (temperature, humidity, CO2) was carried out during each sample, both indoors and outdoors. Carbon monoxide concentration in indoor air also was recorded. During each sample, a home status questionnaire was taken to register the household activities and events, which may affect the PAH levels.

NUATRC received a draft final report for the study in March 2002. The report was reviewed by a team of external peer reviewers and the NUATRC Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP). NUATRC received Dr. Li’s revised final report in April 2003, and it was reviewed by the SAP. A second revised final report was received in December 2003. In addition, in 2004, the report also was reviewed by an external reviewer with expertise in data quality and assurance for data quality and consistency. Based on this review, the report was further revised to present the nature and quality of the data (data below the limit of detection, evidence of laboratory errors, other causes of outliers, the shape of the data distributions), and to include initial descriptive analysis and interpretation of the results.

Scientific editing of the report has been completed. Because the report has undergone several revisions for quality assurance purposes, NUATRC has arranged for a final review of this document by two scientists who have previously reviewed this report.

Overall, the study resulted in the development of the programmable temperature vaporization technique (PTV) over large-volume injections for analyses with low concentrations of PAHs. For most PAHs, the response of the mass spectrometry detector increased proportionally as the total volume was increased up to 150 μL using the PTV. This is a significant improvement over existing methodologies.

The results of the study suggest that correlations between indoor and outdoor total PAHs are weak. In general, the results suggest that: (1) PAHs are ubiquitously present in non-smoker urban homes and indoor PAH concentrations are affected largely by indoor activities; (2) outdoor air also may contribute significantly to indoor PAH levels, especially for the heavier compounds; (3) the partitioning of indoor PAHs between air, suspended particles, and settled particles (dust) needs to be investigated further; and (4) the indoor source emissions need to be quantitatively characterized and relative source contributions be apportioned.

Future Activities:

We plan to publish the final report.

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

Other subproject views: All 7 publications 4 publications in selected types All 3 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 Li A, Schoonover TM, Zou Q, Norlock F, Conroy LM, Scheff PA, Wadden RA. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in residential air of ten Chicago area homes:concentrations and influencing factors. Atmospheric Environment 2005;39(19):3491-3501. R828678C008 (2003)
R828678C008 (2004)
R828678C008 (Final)
  • Full-text: Science Direct
  • Abstract: Science Direct
  • Other: Science Direct
  • Journal Article Norlock FM, Jang JK, Zou Q, Schoonover TM, Li A. Large-volume injection PTV-GC-MS analysis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in air and sediment samples. Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association 2002;52(1):19-26. R828678C008 (2003)
    R828678C008 (2004)
    R828678C008 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Abstract: Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association
  • Supplemental Keywords:

    air pollution, urban, monitoring, exposure, methods, indoor air, volatile organic compounds, VOCs, particulate matter, PM, environmental policy, exposure, health risk assessment, physical processes, risk assessments, susceptibility/sensitive population/genetic susceptibility, air toxics, genetic susceptibility, acute health effects, acute cardiovascular effects, acute exposure, acute lung injury, air contaminant exposure, air quality, airborne urban contaminants, airway disease, aldehydes, assessment of exposure, atmospheric particulate matter, cardiac arrest, cardiopulmonary response, children, children’s environmental health, chronic health effects, copollutants, copollutant exposures, environmental hazard exposures, fine particles, health effects, human exposure, human health risk, human susceptibility, inhaled pollutants, long-term exposure, lung inflammation, particulate exposure, sensitive populations, susceptible subpopulations, toxics,, RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, Air, ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, Air Pollution, particulate matter, air toxics, Environmental Chemistry, Health Risk Assessment, Risk Assessments, Atmospheric Sciences, Biology, Risk Assessment, copollutant exposures, atmospheric particulate matter, air pollutants, cardiopulmonary responses, fine particles, PM 2.5, acute lung injury, exposure, chronic health effects, human exposure, industrial air pollution, lung inflammation, PAHs, particulate exposure, Acute health effects, inhaled, indoor/outdoor relationships, acute exposure, atmospheric chemistry, exposure assessment, human health risk

    Relevant Websites:

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

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 2001 Progress Report
  • 2002 Progress Report
  • 2003 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