A method of assessing air toxics concentrations in urban areas using mobile platform measurements.

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The objective of this paper is to demonstrate an approach to characterize the spatial variability in ambient air concentrations using mobile platform measurements. This approach may be useful for air toxics assessments in Environmental Justice applications, epidemiological studies, and environmental health risk assessments. In this study, we developed and applied a method to characterize air toxics concentrations in urban areas using results of the recently conducted field study in Wilmington, DE. Mobile measurements were collected over a 4- x 4-km area of downtown Wilmington for three components: formaldehyde (representative of volatile organic compounds and also photochemically reactive pollutants), aerosol size distribution (representing fine particulate matter), and water-soluble hexavalent chromium (representative of toxic metals). These measurements were,used to construct spatial and temporal distributions of air toxics in the area that show a very strong temporal variability, both diurnally and seasonally. An analysis of spatial variability indicates that all pollutants varied significantly by location, which suggests potential impact of local sources. From the comparison with measurements at the central monitoring site, we conclude that formaldehyde and fine particulates show a positive correlation with temperature, which could also be the reason that photochemically generated formaldehyde and fine particulates over the study area correlate well with the fine particulate matter measured at the central site.





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