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Toxics 2016, 4(2), 11; doi:10.3390/toxics4020011

UNMIX Methods Applied to Characterize Sources of Volatile Organic Compounds in Toronto, Ontario

1
Department of Computer Science, University of Québec at Outaouais, Gatineau, QB J8X 3X7, Canada
2
Population Studies Division, Health Canada, Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Barbara Zielinska and Andrey Khlystov
Received: 16 March 2016 / Revised: 17 May 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 18 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Toxics)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1466 KB, uploaded 18 June 2016]   |  

Abstract

UNMIX, a sensor modeling routine from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), was used to model volatile organic compound (VOC) receptors in four urban sites in Toronto, Ontario. VOC ambient concentration data acquired in 2000–2009 for 175 VOC species in four air quality monitoring stations were analyzed. UNMIX, by performing multiple modeling attempts upon varying VOC menus—while rejecting the results that were not reliable—allowed for discriminating sources by their most consistent chemical characteristics. The method assessed occurrences of VOCs in sources typical of the urban environment (traffic, evaporative emissions of fuels, banks of fugitive inert gases), industrial point sources (plastic-, polymer-, and metalworking manufactures), and in secondary sources (releases from water, sediments, and contaminated urban soil). The remote sensing and robust modeling used here produces chemical profiles of putative VOC sources that, if combined with known environmental fates of VOCs, can be used to assign physical sources’ shares of VOCs emissions into the atmosphere. This in turn provides a means of assessing the impact of environmental policies on one hand, and industrial activities on the other hand, on VOC air pollution. View Full-Text
Keywords: volatile organic compound; VOC; environmental fate; UNMIX; receptor modeling; source profile volatile organic compound; VOC; environmental fate; UNMIX; receptor modeling; source profile
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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Porada, E.; Szyszkowicz, M. UNMIX Methods Applied to Characterize Sources of Volatile Organic Compounds in Toronto, Ontario. Toxics 2016, 4, 11.

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