, Volume 128, Issue 1-3, pp 369-379
Date: 21 Oct 2006

Spatial Analysis of Volatile Organic Compounds from a Community-Based Air Toxics Monitoring Network in Deer Park, Texas, USA

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Abstract

In the summer of 2003, ambient air concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were measured at 12 sites within a 3-km radius in Deer Park, Texas near Houston. The purpose of the study was to assess local spatial influence of traffic and other urban sources and was part of a larger investigation of VOC spatial and temporal heterogeneity influences in selected areas of Houston. Seventy 2-h samples were collected using passive organic vapor monitors. Most measurements of 13 VOC species were greater than the method detection limits. Samplers were located at 10 residential sites, a regulatory air monitoring station, and a site located at the centroid of the census tract in which the regulatory station was located. For residential sites, sampler placement locations (e. g., covered porch vs. house eaves) had no effect on concentration with the exception of methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE). Relatively high correlations (Pearson r > 0.8) were found between toluene, ethylbenzene, and o,m,p-xylenes suggesting petroleum-related influence. Chloroform was not correlated with these species or benzene (Pearson r < 0.35) suggesting a different source influence, possibly from process-related activities. As shown in other spatial studies, wind direction relative to source location had an effect on VOC concentrations.