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Characterization and Sources of Aromatic Hydrocarbons (BTEX) in the Atmosphere of Two Urban Sites Located in Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico

Facultad de Química, Universidad Autónoma del Carmen, Calle 56 Num. 4, 24180 Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche, Mexico
Departamento de Calidad del Aire, Secretaría de Desarrollo Urbano y Medio Ambiente, Gobierno del Estado de Yucatan, Calle 64 No. 437 x 53 y 47-A, 97219 Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico
Centro de Ciencias de la Atmosfera, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, Circuito Exterior s/n, Coyoacan, Ciudad Universitaria, 04510 Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico
Facultad de Ciencias Quimicas, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Av. Universidad s/n, 66451 San Nicolás de las Garza, Nuevo León, Mexico
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2017, 8(6), 107;
Received: 7 May 2017 / Revised: 14 June 2017 / Accepted: 14 June 2017 / Published: 17 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tropospheric Ozone and Its Precursors)
PDF [4290 KB, uploaded 23 June 2017]


Benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, p-xylene, O3, NOx, CO, PM2.5 and meteorological parameters were measured in urban air of two sites in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico during 2016–2017. Samples were collected using 1.5 h time intervals at three different sampling periods before being analyzed by gas chromatography with flame ionization detection. The highest concentrations of BTEX occurred during midday and afternoon in spring and summer seasons. Mean concentrations of, BTEX for the Cholul and SEDUMA sites, respectively, were 40.91 μg/m3 and 32.86 μg/m3 for benzene; 6.87 μg/m3 and 3.29 μg/m3 for toluene; 13.87 μg/m3 and 8.29 μg/m3 for p-xylene; and 6.23 μg/m3 and 4.48 μg/m3 for ethylbenzene. The toluene/benzene and xylene/ethylbenzene concentration ratios indicated that BTEX levels at both sites were influenced by local and fresh emissions (vehicular traffic). Bivariate and multivariate analyses were performed in order to correlate BTEX concentrations with criteria air pollutants to infer their possible sources. Health risk assessment revealed that exposure to benzene exceeded the recommended value for the integrated lifetime cancer risk. These results suggest that Merida’s population is exposed to cancer risk, and changes in the existing environmental policies should therefore be applied to improve air quality. View Full-Text
Keywords: volatile organic compounds; BTEX; tropospheric ozone; Merida; air pollution volatile organic compounds; BTEX; tropospheric ozone; Merida; air pollution

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Bretón, J.G.C.; Bretón, R.M.C.; Ucan, F.V.; Baeza, C.B.; Fuentes, M.L.E.; Lara, E.R.; Marrón, M.R.; Pacheco, J.A.M.; Guzmán, A.R.; Chi, M.P.U. Characterization and Sources of Aromatic Hydrocarbons (BTEX) in the Atmosphere of Two Urban Sites Located in Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Atmosphere 2017, 8, 107.

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