Ambient concentrations and personal exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in an urban community with mixed sources of air pollution

Xianlei Zhu, Zhihua Fan, Xiangmei Wu, Kyung Hwa Jung, Pamela Ohman-Strickland, Linda J. Bonanno, Paul J. Lioy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Assessment of the health risks resulting from exposure to ambient polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) is limited by a lack of environmental exposure data among the general population. This study characterized personal exposure and ambient concentrations of PAH in the Village of Waterfront South (WFS), an urban community with many mixed sources of air toxics in Camden, New Jersey, and CopeWood/Davis Streets (CDS), an urban reference area located ∼1 mile east of WFS. A total of 54 and 53 participants were recruited from non-smoking households in WFS and CDS, respectively. In all, 24-h personal and ambient air samples were collected simultaneously in both areas on weekdays and weekends during summer and winter. The ambient PAH concentrations in WFS were either significantly higher than or comparable to those in CDS, indicating the significant impact of local sources on PAH pollution in WFS. Analysis of diagnostic ratios and correlation suggested that diesel truck traffic, municipal waste combustion and industrial combustion were the major sources in WFS. In such an area, ambient air pollution contributed significantly to personal PAH exposure, explaining 44-96% of variability in personal concentrations. This study provides valuable data for examining the impact of local ambient PAH pollution on personal exposure and therefore potential health risks associated with environmental PAH pollution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-449
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology
Volume21
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Keywords

  • PAH
  • ambient measurement
  • association between personal and ambient levels
  • personal exposure

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