Volatile organic compounds (VOC) have been monitored in 12 sites of Canosa di Puglia, a city located in the Southern of Italy, in order to identify the main VOC source—vehicular traffic or industrial—and to evaluate the critical situations in the city. Monitoring, carried out by using Radiello® diffusive samplers, has been planned taking into account the traffic density and the architecture of the city. From the study of the data it has been emerged that, among all considered VOC, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes (BTEX) are the pollutants at higher concentration. However no critical situation has appared from the present monitoring. Maps of daily benzene and toluene concentrations have shown that the most significant pollution phenomena happens in the center of the urban area which is in a valley with narrow roads and high buildings that do not allow an efficient dispersion of pollutants. The study of the diagnostic ratios between the toluene and benzene concentrations in the several areas (average T/B = 3.4) and the high Pearson’s coefficient among the pollutants, and in particular between benzene and toluene concentrations (r = 0.9505), have suggested that in urban area these pollutants are emitted from the same source: the vehicular traffic.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Angiuli, L., Bruno, P., Caputi, M., Caselli, M., de Gennaro, G., & de Rienzo, M. (2003). Radial passive samplers for air quality monitoring. Comparison in field with a BTEX automatic analyser. Preliminary Results Fresenius Environmental Bulletin, 12, 1167–1172.
Berkowicz, R., Palmgren, F., Hertel, O., & Vignati, E. (1996). Using measurements of air pollution in streets for evaluation of urban air quality—meteorological analysis and model calculation. Science of the Total Environment, 189/190, 259–265.
Bertoni, G., Tappa, R., & Allegrini, I. (2000). Assessment of a new passive device for monitoring benzene and other volatile aromatic compounds in the atmosphere. Annali di Chimica, 90, 249–263.
Bravo, H., Sosa, R., Sánchez, P., Bueno, E., & González, L. (2002). Concentrations of benzene and toluene in the atmosphere of the southwestern area at the Mexico City Metropolitan Zone. Atmospheric Environment, 36(23), 3843–3849.
Brown, J. R., Field, R. A., Goldstone, M. E., Lester, J. N., & Perry, R. (1996). Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in central London air during 1991 and 1992. Science of the Total Environment, 177, 73–84.
Bruno, P., Caputi, M., Caselli, M., de Gennaro, G., & de Rienzo, M. (2005). Reliability of a BTEX radial diffusive sampler for thermal desorption: Field measurements. Atmospheric Environment, 39, 1347–1355.
Bruno, M., Caselli, M., de Gennaro, G., de Gennaro, L., & Tutino, M. (2006). High spatial resolution monitoring of benzene and toluene in the urban area of Taranto (Italy). Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry, 54, 177–187.
Cragg, S. T., Clarke, E. A., Daly, I. W., Miller, R. R., Terrill, J. B., & Ouelletter, R. E. (1989). Subchronic inhalation toxicity of ethylbenzene in mice, rats, and rabbits. CRAGG et al. Toxicological Sciences, 13, 399–408.
De Santis, F., Fino, A., Menichelli, S., Vazzana, C., & Allegrini, I. (2004). Monitoring the air quality around an oil refinery through the use of diffusive sampling. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 378, 782–788.
D.M. 60. (2002). Ministerial Decree No. 60 of 02 April 2002 on the subject of ambient air quality assessment and management and laying down for the pollutants sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, lead, benzene and carbon monoxide.
ESIG (1997). Fact sheet solvents and the environment. Brussels: European Solvents Industry Group.
European Union Parliament and Council (2000). Directive 2000/69/CE of the European Parliament and Council of the 16 November 2000 concerning the limit values for benzene and carbon monoxide in environmental air. Official Journal of the European Communities, L313, 12–21.
European Union Parliament and Council (2003). Directive 2003/17/CE of the European Parliament and Council of the 3 March 2003 concerning the quality of petrol and diesel fuel. Official Journal of the European Communities, 76, 10–19.
Fernandes, M. B., Brickus, L. S. R., Moreira, J. C., & Cardoso, J. N. (2002). Atmospheric BTX and polyaromatic hydrocarbons in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Chemosphere, 47, 417–425.
Finlayson-Pitts, B. J., & Pitts, J. N. (1997). Tropospheric air pollution: Ozone, airborne toxics, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and particles. Science, 276, 1045–1052.
Finlayson-Pitts, B. J., & Pitts, J. N. (2000). Chemistry of the upper and lower atmosphere (p. 969). USA: Academic.
Fromme, H. (1995). Implications of exposure to benzene for the health of the general population. Department of Environmental Medicine, Berlin senate Health Department. Central Health Bulletin, 196, 481–494.
Gee, I. L., & Sollars, C. J. (1998). Ambient air levels of volatile organic compounds in Latin American and Asian cities. Chemosphere, 36, 2497–2506.
Hartmann, R., Vogt, U., Baumbach, G., Seyfioglu, R., & Muezzinoglu, A. (1997). Results of emission and ambient air measurements of VOC in Izmir. Environmental Research Forum, 7–8, 107–112.
Hellén, H., Hakola, H., Laurila, T., Hiltunen, V., & Koskentalo, T. (2002). Aromatic hydrocarbon and methyl tert-butyl ether measurements in ambient air of Helsinki (Finland) using diffusive samplers. Science of the Total Environment, 298, 55–64.
Ho, K. F., Lee, S. C., Guo, H., & Tsai, W. Y. (2004). Seasonal and diurnal variations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the atmosphere of Hong Kong. Atmospheric Environment, 36, 155–166.
Krupa, S. V., & Legge, A. H. (2000). Passive sampling of ambient, gaseous air pollutants: an assessment from an ecological perspective. Environ. Pollut., 107, 31–45.
IARC (1999). Monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans. IARC. Lyon, 71(II), 401–432.
Lovern, M. R., Turner, M. J., Meyer, M., Kedderis, G. L., Bechtold, W. E., & Schlosser, P. M. (1997). Identification of benzene oxide as a product of benzene metabolism by mouse, rats and human liver microsomes. Carcinogenesis, 18, 1695–1700.
Low, L. K., Meeks, J. R., & Mackerer, C. R. (1989). Health effects of the alkylbenzenes. II. Xylenes. Toxicology and Industrial Health, 5, 85–105.
Mehlman, M. A. (1994). Dangerous and cancer-causing properties of products and chemicals in the oil refining and petrochemical industry—Part XX: Health dangers of petroleum hydrocarbons: gasoline, methyl-tertiary butyl ether, benzene, 1,3,butadiene and alkylbenzenes. Journal of Clean Technology and Environmental Sciences, 4, 37–57.
Muezzino, A., Odabasi, M., & Onat, L. (2001). Volatile organic compounds in the air of Izmir, Turkey. Atmospheric Environment, 35, 753–760.
Palmgren, F., Berkowicz, R., Ziv, A., & Hertel, O. (1999). Actual car fleet emissions estimated from urban air quality measurements and street pollution models. The Science of the Total Environment, 235, 101–109.
Paul, J. (1997). Improved air quality on Turkish roads: Fuels and exhaust gas treatment. Environmental Research Forum, 7–8, 145–152.
Park, S., Kim, S., & Lee, H. (2004). Dispersion characteristics of vehicle emission in an urban street canyon. Science of the Total Environment, 323, 263–271.
Pearson, R. L., Wachtel, H., & Ebi, K. L. (2000). Distance-weighted traffic density in proximity to a home is a risk factor to leukemia and other childhood cancers. Journal of Air & Waste Management Association, 50, 175–180.
Perry, R., & Gee, I. L. (1994). Vehicle emissions and effects of air quality—indoors and outdoors. POLMET 235–242.
Pfeffer, H. U., & Breuer, L. (2000). BTX measurements with diffusive samplers in the vicinity of a cokery: Comparison between ORSA-type samplers and pumped sampling. Journal of Environmental Monitoring 2, 483–486.
Reis, S., Simpson, D., Friedrich, R., Jonson, J. E., Unger, S., & Obermeier, A. (2000). Road traffic emissions—predictions of future contributions to regional ozone levels in Europe. Atmospheric Environment, 34, 4701–4710.
Roche, A., Thevenet, R., Jacob, V., Kalunzny, P., Ferrari, C., Baussand, P., et al. (1999). Performance of a thermally desorbable type-tube diffusive sampler for very low air concentrations monitoring. Atmospheric Environment, 33, 1905–1912.
Saillenfait, A. M., Gallissot, F., Morel, G., & Bonnet, P. (2003). Developmental toxicities of ethylbenzene, ortho-, meta-, para-xylene and technical xylene in rats following inhalation exposure. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 41(3), 415–429.
Snyder, R., & Kalf, G. F. (1994). A perspective on benzene leukemogenesis. Critical Reviews in Toxicology, 24(3), 177–209.
Vardoulakis, S., Fisher, B. E. A., Pericleous, K., & Gonzales-Flesca, N. (2003). Modelling air quality in street canyons: A review. Atmospheric Environment, 37, 155–182.
Vardoulakis, S., Gonzales-Flesca, N., & Fisher, B. E. A. (2002). Assessment of traffic-related air pollution in two street canyons in Paris: Implication for exposure studies. Atmospheric Environment, 36, 1025–1039.
Wideqvist, U., Vesely, V., Johansson, C., Potter, A., Brorström-Lundén, E., Sjöberg, K., et al. (2003). Comparison of measurement methods for benzene and toluene. Atmospheric Environment, 37, 1963–1973.
Zhang, L., Rothman, N., Wang, Y., Hayes, R. B., Bechtold, W., Venkatesh, P., et al. (1996). Interphase cytogenetics of workers exposed to benzene. Environmental Health Perspectives, 104, 1325–1329.
About this article
Cite this article
Bruno, P., Caselli, M., de Gennaro, G. et al. Assessment of the Impact Produced by the Traffic Source on VOC Level in the Urban Area of Canosa di Puglia (Italy). Water Air Soil Pollut 193, 37–50 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11270-008-9666-3
- Diffusive samplers
- Thermal desorption
- Vehicular traffic source
- Volatile organic compounds