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Environ Health Perspect. 1994 Oct;102 Suppl 4:75-84.

Exposure and risk from ambient particle-bound pollution in an airshed dominated by residential wood combustion and mobile sources.

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Methods Research and Development Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711.


A major field study was conducted in Boise, Idaho, during the heating season of 1986 to 1987 as part of the Integrated Air Cancer Project. Filter samples were systematically collected in residences and in the ambient air across the community to characterize the particle-bound pollutants. The extractable organic matter (EOM) from the filter samples was apportioned to its source of origin, either residential wood combustion (RWC) or mobile sources (MS). Two composite samples, with apportioned contributions from RWC and MS, were prepared from the Boise ambient samples and tested for tumor-initiation potency. A comparative potency lung cancer risk estimate has been made based on the two ambient composite samples from this airshed. In addition, a microenvironmental exposure model was developed from the Boise data and from national survey data to estimate the exposure to EOM from RWC and MS. In this paper, the microenvironmental model is extrapolated to provide an estimate of the average annual exposure and dose in Boise to EOM from RWC and MS. The annual model considers actual pollutant levels in Boise, historical changes in RWC usage and meteorological dilution factors and the likely activities in the various microenvironmental zones and their resultant inhalation rates. Combined with the lifetime risk estimates, the average annual dose suggests a risk of about 4 x 10(-4) based upon the composite ambient samples. Despite the fact that RWC accounts for 73% of the EOM on an annual average basis, it accounts for only about 20% of the estimated lifetime risk.

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