Title: Characterisation of ambient benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and m-, p- and o-xylene in an urban traffic area in Bangkok, Thailand

Authors: Wanna Laowagul, Kunio Yoshizumi, Auemphorn Mutchimwong, Patana Thavipoke, Martin Hooper, Hathairatana Garivait, Wongpun Limpaseni

Addresses: Environmental Research and Training Center, Tambon Klong 5, Amphoe Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand. ' Kyoritsu Women's University, 2-2-1 Hitotsubashi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-8433, Japan. ' Faculty of Environmental and Resource Studies, Mahidol University, Phuttamonthon, Salaya, Nakornpathom 73170, Thailand. ' Faculty of Environmental and Resource Studies, Mahidol University, Phuttamonthon, Salaya, Nakornpathom 73170, Thailand. ' Gippsland Centre for Environmental Science, Monash University, Victoria 3842, Australia. ' Environmental Research and Training Center, Tambon Klong 5, Amphoe Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand. ' Department of Environmental Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

Abstract: Ambient Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) were examined in a heavy traffic urban area in Bangkok, Thailand, on focusing monoaromatic compounds of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, m-, p- and o-xylene (BTEX). Passive samplers were used to measure ambient BTEX concentrations in the environment close to very congested roads. Prior to the measurement, the validity of passive sampler performance was investigated to be acceptable for actual use. The monitoring was made five times on weekly basis in April-June in 2003. It was observed that averages of BTEX concentrations were as follows: 12.7 µg m−3 for benzene, 72.8 µg m−3 for toluene, 6.0 µg m−3 for ethylbenzene, 25.7 µg m−3 for m-, p-xylene and 13.6 µg m−3 for o-xylene. They are considered to be at very high concentration levels compared to other countries. Their distributions seemed to be in the form of logarithmic normal distribution. On the other hand, cluster analysis suggested that ambient BTEX in this study were derived from automobile exhaust gases.

Keywords: VOCs; volatile organic compounds; benzene; toluene; ethylbenzene; m-xylene; p-xylene o-xylene; BTEX; passive sampler; Bangkok; ambient air; air pollution; air quality; Thailand; cluster analysis; exhaust gases; vehicle exhausts; exhaust emissions.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEP.2009.021829

International Journal of Environment and Pollution, 2009 Vol.36 No.1/2/3, pp.241 - 254

Available online: 05 Dec 2008 *

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