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Volatile organic compounds in an urban environment: a comparison among Belgium, Vietnam and Ethiopia

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Abstract
The effects of urban and indoor air pollution on human health are a major environmental concern for all, but not much has been researched in the developing world. Specifically, quantitative data on the occurrence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) main contributors to air pollution in Asia and Africa are scarce compared to the availability of data in the developed world. This paper presents one of the first studies focusing on the analysis and occurrence of VOCs in Vietnam and Ethiopia, which constitutes part of the novelty of this work. A spectrum of 34 VOCs was measured at eight different urban sites in Ghent (Belgium), Hanoi (Vietnam), Jimma and Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) during three sampling campaigns from September 2008 to September 2010. Sampling was done in an active way by means of sorbent tubes filled with Tenax TA. The analysis was done by TD-GC-MS using internal standard calibration. Data were interpreted and compared in terms of (i) individual, subgroup and total VOCs concentration (TVOCs), (ii) indoor-to-outdoor (I/O) concentration ratios, (iii) source identification by diagnostic ratio and/or correlation coefficients, and (iv) ozone formation potential (OFP) at outdoor sites based on up-to-date maximum incremental reactivity (MIR). I/O concentration ratios varied between 0.2 and 30, with big differences noticed with respect to the type of VOC(s) considered and the type of outdoor sampling location. The highest TVOC concentrations were measured in street samples with maximum values of 54 mu g/m3 in Ghent, 507 mu g/m3 in Hanoi and 318 mu g/m3 in Addis Ababa illustrating the large difference in ambient air quality levels. This is also reflected in the arithmetic mean OFP values (mu g/m3) of 82, 1308 and 596 in Ghent, Hanoi and Addis Ababa, respectively. Results of this study could be helpful to support formulation of national policy with regard to ambient air quality.
Keywords
HYDROCARBONS, POLLUTANTS, EXPOSURE, OUTDOOR, COMPOUNDS VOCS, RECEPTOR MODELS, BTEX-CONCENTRATIONS, SOURCE APPORTIONMENT, INDOOR AIR-QUALITY, CHEMICAL MASS-BALANCE, Addis Ababa, Hanoi, Ghent, TD-GC-MS, active sampling, urban air, BTEX, VOC

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Do Hoai, Duc, Herman Van Langenhove, Christophe Walgraeve, Samuel Fekadu Hayleeyesus, Patrick De Wispelaere, Jo Dewulf, and Kristof Demeestere. 2013. “Volatile Organic Compounds in an Urban Environment: a Comparison Among Belgium, Vietnam and Ethiopia.” International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry 93 (3): 298–314.
APA
Do Hoai, D., Van Langenhove, H., Walgraeve, C., Hayleeyesus, S. F., De Wispelaere, P., Dewulf, J., & Demeestere, K. (2013). Volatile organic compounds in an urban environment: a comparison among Belgium, Vietnam and Ethiopia. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY, 93(3), 298–314.
Vancouver
1.
Do Hoai D, Van Langenhove H, Walgraeve C, Hayleeyesus SF, De Wispelaere P, Dewulf J, et al. Volatile organic compounds in an urban environment: a comparison among Belgium, Vietnam and Ethiopia. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY. 2013;93(3):298–314.
MLA
Do Hoai, Duc, Herman Van Langenhove, Christophe Walgraeve, et al. “Volatile Organic Compounds in an Urban Environment: a Comparison Among Belgium, Vietnam and Ethiopia.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY 93.3 (2013): 298–314. Print.
@article{2020501,
  abstract     = {The effects of urban and indoor air pollution on human health are a major environmental concern for all, but not much has been researched in the developing world. Specifically, quantitative data on the occurrence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) main contributors to air pollution in Asia and Africa are scarce compared to the availability of data in the developed world. This paper presents one of the first studies focusing on the analysis and occurrence of VOCs in Vietnam and Ethiopia, which constitutes part of the novelty of this work. A spectrum of 34 VOCs was measured at eight different urban sites in Ghent (Belgium), Hanoi (Vietnam), Jimma and Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) during three sampling campaigns from September 2008 to September 2010. Sampling was done in an active way by means of sorbent tubes filled with Tenax TA. The analysis was done by TD-GC-MS using internal standard calibration. Data were interpreted and compared in terms of (i) individual, subgroup and total VOCs concentration (TVOCs), (ii) indoor-to-outdoor (I/O) concentration ratios, (iii) source identification by diagnostic ratio and/or correlation coefficients, and (iv) ozone formation potential (OFP) at outdoor sites based on up-to-date maximum incremental reactivity (MIR). I/O concentration ratios varied between 0.2 and 30, with big differences noticed with respect to the type of VOC(s) considered and the type of outdoor sampling location. The highest TVOC concentrations were measured in street samples with maximum values of 54 mu g/m3 in Ghent, 507 mu g/m3 in Hanoi and 318 mu g/m3 in Addis Ababa illustrating the large difference in ambient air quality levels. This is also reflected in the arithmetic mean OFP values (mu g/m3) of 82, 1308 and 596 in Ghent, Hanoi and Addis Ababa, respectively. Results of this study could be helpful to support formulation of national policy with regard to ambient air quality.},
  author       = {Do Hoai, Duc and Van Langenhove, Herman and Walgraeve, Christophe and Hayleeyesus, Samuel Fekadu and De Wispelaere, Patrick and Dewulf, Jo and Demeestere, Kristof},
  issn         = {0306-7319},
  journal      = {INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY},
  keyword      = {HYDROCARBONS,POLLUTANTS,EXPOSURE,OUTDOOR,COMPOUNDS VOCS,RECEPTOR MODELS,BTEX-CONCENTRATIONS,SOURCE APPORTIONMENT,INDOOR AIR-QUALITY,CHEMICAL MASS-BALANCE,Addis Ababa,Hanoi,Ghent,TD-GC-MS,active sampling,urban air,BTEX,VOC},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {298--314},
  title        = {Volatile organic compounds in an urban environment: a comparison among Belgium, Vietnam and Ethiopia},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03067319.2011.620708},
  volume       = {93},
  year         = {2013},
}

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