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Serious BTEX pollution in rural area of the North China Plain during winter season

Liu, Kankan, Zhang, Chenglong, Cheng, Ye, Liu, Chengtang, Zhang, Hongxing, Zhang, Gen, Sun, Xu, Mu, Yujing
Journal of Environmental Sciences 2015 v.30 pp. 186-190
BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene), air pollution, benzene, coal, combustion, ethylbenzene, farm income, farmers, heat, rural areas, toluene, urban areas, winter, xylene, China
Atmospheric BTEX compounds (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes) in a rural site of the North China Plain (NCP) were preliminarily investigated in winter, and the outdoor concentrations (25.8–236.0μg/m3) were found to be much higher than those reported in urban regions. The pollution of BTEX inside a farmer's house was even more serious, with combined concentrations of 254.5–1552.9μg/m3. Based on the ratio of benzene to toluene (1.17±0.34) measured, the serious BTEX pollution in the rural site was mainly ascribed to domestic coal combustion for heating during the winter season. With the enhancement of farmers' incomes in recent years, coal consumption by farmers in the NCP is rapidly increasing to keep their houses warm, and hence the serious air pollution in rural areas of the NCP during winter, including BTEX, should be paid great attention.