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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2441-2467; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062441
Article

Risk-Based Evaluation of Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Vapor Intrusion Studies

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Received: 9 April 2013 / Revised: 8 May 2013 / Accepted: 24 May 2013 / Published: 13 June 2013
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Abstract

This paper presents a quantitative method for the risk-based evaluation of Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) in vapor intrusion investigations. Vapors from petroleum fuels are characterized by a complex mixture of aliphatic and, to a lesser extent, aromatic compounds. These compounds can be measured and described in terms of TPH carbon ranges. Toxicity factors published by USEPA and other parties allow development of risk-based, air and soil vapor screening levels for each carbon range in the same manner as done for individual compounds such as benzene. The relative, carbon range makeup of petroleum vapors can be used to develop weighted, site-specific or generic screening levels for TPH. At some critical ratio of TPH to a targeted, individual compound, the overwhelming proportion of TPH will drive vapor intrusion risk over the individual compound. This is particularly true for vapors associated with diesel and other middle distillate fuels, but can also be the case for low-benzene gasolines or even for high-benzene gasolines if an adequately conservative, target risk is not applied to individually targeted chemicals. This necessitates a re-evaluation of the reliance on benzene and other individual compounds as a stand-alone tool to evaluate vapor intrusion risk associated with petroleum.
Keywords: petroleum; TPH; carbon ranges; benzene; soil gas; soil vapor; vapor intrusion; risk assessment petroleum; TPH; carbon ranges; benzene; soil gas; soil vapor; vapor intrusion; risk assessment
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Brewer, R.; Nagashima, J.; Kelley, M.; Heskett, M.; Rigby, M. Risk-Based Evaluation of Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Vapor Intrusion Studies. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 2441-2467.

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