Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tollbooth Ventilation System Effective in Protecting Workers from Traffic Air Pollution

09.05.2005


Although there is the potential for tollbooth workers at the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel to be exposed to high levels of cancer-causing air toxins emitted from the thousands of vehicles that pass under their nose, researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that the tollbooth ventilation system was effective in keeping air toxins out of the tollbooth and away from the workers. The researchers measured levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particle-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) inside and outside the tollbooth and found relatively high levels outdoors and relatively low levels indoors. The study is published in the May 1, 2005, issue of Environmental Science & Technology.



“Tollbooth facilities represent a potential worst-case scenario for occupational exposure to mobile source-related air pollution, as these employees spend a majority of their shift within an arm’s length of thousands of vehicles emitting a wide range of toxic pollutants. Yet, little has been done to evaluate worker exposure and the protection afforded by the indoor environment,” Amir Sapkota, PhD, lead author of the study and a post-doctoral fellow in the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences.

In June 2001, the researchers measured the concentration of air toxins at a tollbooth at the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel. They also examined traffic volume in addition to curbside pollutant concentrations and the concentrations inside the tollbooth. They compared air toxin levels during the three shifts worked by tollbooth employees—morning (6 a.m.–2 p.m.), afternoon (2–10 p.m.) and night (10 p.m.–6 a.m.).


The researchers found that levels of 1,3-butadiene and benzene peaked with the morning and afternoon rush-hour traffic. In contrast, they found that the levels inside the tollbooth were relatively low and constant. They found, however, that some of the chlorinated VOCs used in dry cleaning, air deodorizers and cleaning products were present in higher concentrations inside the tollbooth than outdoors.

“It is wonderful to discover that the tollbooth environment is doing what it is designed to do—protect workers from the hazardous environment in which they would otherwise be immersed. It is important to note, however, that not all tollbooth workers in this country, and especially in developing countries, are provided with this protection,” said Timothy J. Buckley, PhD, MHS, senior author of the study and an associate professor in the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences.

“Tollbooth Workers and Mobile Source-Related Hazardous Air Pollutants: How Protective Is the Indoor Environment?” was supported by the Johns Hopkins Education and Research Center Pilot Project Research Training Fund, National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Co-authors of the study were Amir Sapkota, D’Ann Williams and Timothy J. Buckley.

Public Affairs media contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Kenna Lowe or Tim Parsons at 410-955-6878 or paffairs@jhsph.edu. Photographs of Timothy J. Buckley and Amir Sapkota are available upon request.

Kenna L. Lowe | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jhsph.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht GLUT5 fluorescent probe fingerprints cancer cells
20.04.2018 | Michigan Technological University

nachricht Scientists re-create brain neurons to study obesity and personalize treatment
20.04.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tiny microenvironments in the ocean hold clues to global nitrogen cycle

23.04.2018 | Earth Sciences

Joining metals without welding

23.04.2018 | Trade Fair News

Researchers illuminate the path to a new era of microelectronics

23.04.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>