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Assessment of the Impact Produced by the Traffic Source on VOC Level in the Urban Area of Canosa di Puglia (Italy)

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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.

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Correspondence to Gianluigi de Gennaro.

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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).

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  • Diffusive samplers
  • Thermal desorption
  • Vehicular traffic source
  • Volatile organic compounds