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Toxics 2014, 2(2), 276-290; doi:10.3390/toxics2020276

Water-Air Volatilization Factors to Determine Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Reference Levels in Water

1
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Department of Chemical Engineering, ETSEIB, Av. Diagonal, 647, Barcelona E-08028, Spain
2
Fundació CTM Centre Tecnològic, Environmental Technology Area, Plaça de la Ciència, 2, Manresa E-08243, Spain
3
Agència Catalana de l'Aigua, Departament de Territori i Sostenibilitat de la Generalitat de Catalunya, C/Provença, 204-208, Barcelona E-08036, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 April 2014 / Revised: 30 May 2014 / Accepted: 3 June 2014 / Published: 11 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Assessment of Environmental Contaminants)
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Abstract

The goal of this work is the modeling and calculation of volatilization factors (VFs) from water to air for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in order to perform human health risk-based reference levels (RLs) for the safe use of water. The VF models have been developed starting from the overall mass-transfer coefficients (Koverall) concept from air to water for two interaction geometries (flat surface and spherical droplets) in indoor and outdoor scenarios. For a case study with five groups of risk scenarios and thirty VOCs, theoretical VFs have been calculated by using the developed models. Results showed that Koverall values for flat and spherical surface geometries were close to the mass transfer coefficient for water (KL) when Henry’s law constant (KH) was high. In the case of spherical drop geometry, the fraction of volatilization (fV) was asymptotical when increasing KH with fV values also limited due to Koverall. VFs for flat surfaces were calculated from the emission flux of VOCs, and results showed values close to 1000KH for the most conservative indoor scenarios and almost constant values for outdoor scenarios. VFs for spherical geometry in indoor scenarios followed also constant VFs and were far from 1000KH. The highest calculated VF values corresponded to the E2A, E2B, E3A and E5A scenarios and were compared with experimental and real results in order to check the goodness of flat and sphere geometry models. Results showed an overestimation of calculated values for the E2A and E2B scenarios and an underestimation for the E3A and E5A scenarios. In both cases, most of the calculated VFs were from 0.1- to 10-times higher than experimental/real values. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental contaminants; volatile organic compounds; water-air modeling; human health risk assessment; exposure models; volatilization factors environmental contaminants; volatile organic compounds; water-air modeling; human health risk assessment; exposure models; volatilization factors
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Martí, V.; De Pablo, J.; Jubany, I.; Rovira, M.; Orejudo, E. Water-Air Volatilization Factors to Determine Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Reference Levels in Water. Toxics 2014, 2, 276-290.

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