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Issue 6, 2001
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Application of diffusion-based surveys in the district-wide assessment of benzene and select volatile organic compounds in urban environments—a case study from Renfrewshire, Scotland

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Abstract

Benzene (with toluene, ethyl benzene and xylene isomers) concentrations were measured at nine locations in Renfrewshire district between February 1996 and July 1998. Samples were collected by both active and diffusion-based sampling and the compounds were quantified by gas chromatography-flame ionization detection (GC-FID) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The study highlighted the ability of diffusion sampling to provide an effective district-wide assessment of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in urban environmental assessment. Vehicle movement was confirmed as the dominant influence on benzene and associated VOCs in the atmosphere, with strong variations in monthly average concentrations across the study area. For benzene, peak monthly averages were observed on the order of 5–6 ppb v/v, with minimum values of <<0.5 ppb v/v. The impact of a major traffic intervention on benzene levels was followed, and was found to influence atmospheric concentrations over a wide geographical area. An evaluation of the relationship between VOCs and meteorological parameters identified the impact of photo-oxidation and air mass mixing on average atmospheric concentrations.

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Publication details

The article was received on 27 Jul 2001, accepted on 21 Aug 2001 and first published on 02 Oct 2001


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B106834M
Citation: J. Environ. Monit., 2001,3, 646-653
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    Application of diffusion-based surveys in the district-wide assessment of benzene and select volatile organic compounds in urban environments—a case study from Renfrewshire, Scotland

    B. Muir, A. Hursthouse and F. Smith, J. Environ. Monit., 2001, 3, 646
    DOI: 10.1039/B106834M

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