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Near-road multipollutant profiles: associations between volatile organic compounds and a tracer gas surrogate near a busy highway.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association (1995)
Publication Date
Volume
62
Issue
5
Pages
594–603
Identifiers
PMID: 22696809
Source
Medline

Abstract

This research characterizes associations between multiple pollutants in the near-road environment attributed to a roadway line source. It also examines the use of a tracer gas as a surrogate of mobile source pollutants. Air samples were collected in summa canisters along a 300 m transect normal to a highway in Raleigh, North Carolina for five sampling periods spanning four days. Samples were subsequently measured for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) using an electron capture gas chromatograph. Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) was released from a finite line source adjacent to the roadway for two of the sampling periods, collected in the canisters and measured with the VOCs. Associations between each VOC, and between VOCs and the tracer, were quantified with Pearson correlation coefficients to assess the consistency of the multi-pollutant dispersion profiles, and assess the tracer as a potential surrogate for mobile source pollutants. As expected, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and m,p- and o-xylenes (collectively, BTEX) show strong correlations between each other; further BTEX shows a strong correlation to SF6. Between 26 VOCs, correlation coefficients were greater than 0.8, and 14 VOCs had coefficients greater than 0.6 with the tracer gas. Even under non-downwind conditions, chemical concentrations had significant correlations with distance. Results indicate that certain VOCs are representative of a larger multi-pollutant mixture, and many VOCs are well-correlated with the tracer gas.

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