Leung 1998 - "Evaluation of Personal Exposure to Monoaromatic Hydrocarbons"

Leung, Pei-Ling; Harrison, Roy M
"Evaluation of Personal Exposure to Monoaromatic Hydrocarbons"
Occupational and Environmental Medicine
April 1998; v.55, n.4; pp. 249-257
On the Web
Relevance: high

The authors measured the exposure of 50 volunteers in the UK to various monoaromatic hydrocarbons (MAHs) over the course of 12 hour days. They found that urban volunteers were exposed to more MAHs than non-urban volunteers. Most of the total exposure is from the home, despite low concentrations, due to the vast amount of time spent there. Although little time is spent driving, the high concentration of MAHs in vehicles made it a noticeable contributor for office workers (5% of total exposure) 

Percentage Contribution of different microenvironments of annual average benzene exposure:

Locations Office Workers Homemakers
Home overnight 44% 53%
Home daytime 22% 37%
Office 17% --
Driving 5% 3%
Cooking 1% 3%
Pedestrian shopping centre 4% 1%
Walking & cycling 3% 1%
Railway train 1% --

Their estimates for home concentrations are on par with other studies.

They also found that the most concentrated microenvironments were petrol stations while refueling followed by  tunnels, smoky bars, car parks, pavement, driving, and recently painted rooms (see table in paper).

Caveats: volunteers not chosen randomly, not evenly distributed between urban and non-urban areas.

Also see this table: Leungmicroenvironment_concentrations_2


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