Final Report: Methods Development Project for a Study of Personal Exposures to Toxic Air Pollutants

EPA Grant Number: R824834C005
Subproject: this is subproject number 005 , 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: Methods Development Project for a Study of Personal Exposures to Toxic Air Pollutants
Investigators: Morandi, Maria T. , Stock, Tom
Institution: The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: October 15, 1994 through April 15, 1997
RFA: Mickey Leland National Urban Air Toxics Research Center (NUATRC) (1997) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Congressionally Mandated Center , Urban Air Toxics , Targeted Research

Objective:

The objectives of this research project are to: (1) demonstrate the feasibility of using commercially available personal dosimeters, and modified versions, for sampling low concentrations of organic toxic air pollutants in ambient, indoor, and personal air; and (2) develop and evaluate methods appropriate for a community study of personal exposures to toxic air pollutants.

Summary/Accomplishments (Outputs/Outcomes):

Commercially available samplers for measuring volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and aldehydes have been used in both occupational and community environments for some time, usually at parts per million (ppm) levels, and usually for time periods of up to 8 hours. Recently, these samplers have been used for personal air monitoring at parts per billion (ppb) concentrations, for periods of 6 days to 8 weeks. To determine if these samplers could perform adequately to be considered for use in community studies for 24-hour periods, samplers were tested in dynamic test atmosphere systems, under realistic ranges of controlled conditions. The VOCs tested in the project were: benzene; 1,3-butadiene; carbon tetrachloride; chloroform; 1,4-dichlorobenzene; methylene chloride; styrene; tetrachloroethylene; and toluene. Formaldehyde and other low molecular weight aldehydes were the other target compounds in the project.

Two samplers selected were for evaluation. The 3M Model 3520 Organic Vapor Monitor (OVM) was the sampler selected for monitoring the VOCs; the GMD 570 Formaldehyde Dosimeter Badge was selected for monitoring the aldehydes. Two complete exposure chamber systems for testing passive air samplers under controlled conditions of flow, temperature, humidity, and concentrations of air contaminants were successfully constructed, assembled, and tested. Excellent control of environmental parameters (temperature, humidity, and flow rate) across relevant ranges was demonstrated.

Following the successful testing in the laboratory, the 3M Model 3520 OVM was chosen to be tested in the field. The field methods comparison consisted of side-by-side air sampling with passive VOC monitors and stainless steel canisters at two ambient air monitoring stations situated near major petrochemical industrial sites. High background levels on the badges for certain common air toxics initially caused concern, but later, investigators observed that, by extending the length of the monitoring period to 48 hours, the problems were reduced.

A pilot study was conducted in two study areas in the Houston region, where samplers were used successfully for community exposure assessment with 48-hour sampling. One study area was in close proximity to known sources of air toxics, and the other was considered to be relatively free of such sources. Volunteers in each study area wore VOC and formaldehyde monitors. The measurements demonstrated clear differences between areas, indoor/outdoor concentrations, and personal exposures for the target compounds.


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

Other subproject views: All 7 publications 4 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 Chung CW, Morandi MT, Stock TH, Afshar M. Evaluation of a passive sampler for volatile organic compounds at ppb concentrations, varying temperatures, and humidities with 24-h exposures. 1. Description and characterization of exposure chamber system. Environmental Science & Technology 1999;33(20):3661-3665. R824834C005 (Final)
not available
Journal Article Chung CW, Morandi MT, Stock TH, Afshar M. Evaluation of a passive sampler for volatile organic compounds at ppb concentrations, varying temperatures, and humidities with 24-h exposures. 2. Sampler performance. Environmental Science & Technology 1999;33(20):3666-3671. R824834C005 (Final)
not available

Supplemental Keywords:

air pollution, volatile organic compounds, VOCs, exposure, monitoring, urban, Houston, Texas, TX., RFA, Health, PHYSICAL ASPECTS, Scientific Discipline, Air, POLLUTANTS/TOXICS, Air Pollution, particulate matter, air toxics, Health Risk Assessment, Air Pollution Effects, Chemicals, Risk Assessments, Physical Processes, Biochemistry, Environmental Monitoring, health effects, urban air quality, urban air, air pollutants, human health effects, exposure, air sampling, human exposure, lung inflamation, particulate exposure, urban air pollution, sensitive subgroups, PM, human health, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), airborne urban contaminants, biomarker, human health risk, metals

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 1995
  • 1996

  • 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