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Reducing health risk assigned to organic emissions from a chemical weapons incinerator

Laman, David M., Weiler, B. Douglas, Skeen, Rodney S.
Environmental monitoring and assessment 2013 v.185 no.3 pp. 2257-2267
detection limit, emissions, exposure scenario, gas chromatography, human health, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, risk, scanning electron microscopy
Organic emissions from a chemical weapons incinerator have been characterized with an improved set of analytical methods to reduce the human health risk assigned to operations of the facility. A gas chromatography/mass selective detection method with substantially reduced detection limits has been used in conjunction with scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry and Fourier transform infrared microscopy to improve the speciation of semi-volatile and non-volatile organics emitted from the incinerator. The reduced detection limits have allowed a significant reduction in the assumed polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) and aminobiphenyl (ABP) emission rates used as inputs to the human health risk assessment for the incinerator. A mean factor of 17 decrease in assigned human health risk is realized for six common local exposure scenarios as a result of the reduced PAH and ABP detection limits.