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Article

Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Impacts of Hurricane Florence on Criteria Air Pollutants and Air Toxics in Eastern North Carolina

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Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
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Interdisciplinary Faculty of Toxicology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
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Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77844, USA
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Bioinformatics Research Center, Departments of Statistics and Biological Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, CA 27695, USA
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Entanglement Technologies, San Bruno, CA 94066, USA
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Breezometer, Haifa 3303124, Israel
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Danielle J. Carlin and Cynthia V. Rider
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1757; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031757
Received: 9 December 2021 / Revised: 27 January 2022 / Accepted: 31 January 2022 / Published: 3 February 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Combined Environmental Exposures/ Chemical Mixtures)
Natural and anthropogenic disasters are associated with air quality concerns due to the potential redistribution of pollutants in the environment. Our objective was to conduct a spatiotemporal analysis of air concentrations of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzne, and xylene (BTEX) and criteria air pollutants in North Carolina during and after Hurricane Florence. Three sampling campaigns were carried out immediately after the storm (September 2018) and at four-month intervals. BTEX were measured along major roads. Concurrent criteria air pollutant concentrations were predicted from modeling. Correlation between air pollutants and possible point sources was conducted using spatial regression. Exceedances of ambient air criteria were observed for benzene (in all sampling periods) and PM2.5 (mostly immediately after Florence). For both, there was an association between higher concentrations and fueling stations, particularly immediately after Florence. For other pollutants, concentrations were generally below levels of regulatory concern. Through characterization of air quality under both disaster and “normal” conditions, this study demonstrates spatial and temporal variation in air pollutants. We found that only benzene and PM2.5 were present at levels of potential concern, and there were localized increases immediately after the hurricane. These substances warrant particular attention in future disaster response research (DR2) investigations. View Full-Text
Keywords: air pollution; geospatial analyses; criteria pollutants; volatile organic compounds air pollution; geospatial analyses; criteria pollutants; volatile organic compounds
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bhandari, S.; Casillas, G.; Aly, N.A.; Zhu, R.; Newman, G.; Wright, F.A.; Miller, A.; Adler, G.; Rusyn, I.; Chiu, W.A. Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Impacts of Hurricane Florence on Criteria Air Pollutants and Air Toxics in Eastern North Carolina. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 1757. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031757

AMA Style

Bhandari S, Casillas G, Aly NA, Zhu R, Newman G, Wright FA, Miller A, Adler G, Rusyn I, Chiu WA. Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Impacts of Hurricane Florence on Criteria Air Pollutants and Air Toxics in Eastern North Carolina. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(3):1757. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031757

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bhandari, Sharmila, Gaston Casillas, Noor A. Aly, Rui Zhu, Galen Newman, Fred A. Wright, Anthony Miller, Gabriela Adler, Ivan Rusyn, and Weihsueh A. Chiu. 2022. "Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Impacts of Hurricane Florence on Criteria Air Pollutants and Air Toxics in Eastern North Carolina" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 3: 1757. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031757

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