Assessing Outdoor Air Near Schools
Status of Acrolein Monitoring at Schools
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In April 2010, EPA evaluated the results of a short-term laboratory study which had raised questions about the consistency and reliability of monitoring results for acrolein during the School Air Toxics (SAT) project. As a result, EPA decided not to use any of the acrolein data in evaluating the potential for health concerns from exposure to air toxics in outdoor air from the SAT initial project.
During 2011, EPA determined improvements could be made in the current method for sampling and analyzing acrolein. EPA made improvements in the type of canister used as well as how those canisters were cleaned prior to collection of samples. EPA also conducted testing to ensure that nothing within the canisters was contributing to acrolein results. Additional quality assurance steps were also employed to ensure the quality of data for re-monitoring at two schools with local sources that emitted acrolein. While these improvements yielded high quality data and have provided confidence in acrolein measurements, EPA will continue to work on improving a method for monitoring acrolein over the next few years that can be uniformly implemented.
Acrolein is a widespread pollutant that comes from a wide variety of sources, including fires, cigarette smoke, the burning of fuels such as gasoline and oil, and from the breakdown of other chemicals in the air. At elevated concentrations, acrolein can irritate your eyes, nose and throat. EPA, states and local air quality agencies remain concerned about acrolein in the outdoor air and are working to reduce this pollutant across the country.
More information on EPA’s decision not to analyze acrolein data
Data from schools monitoring project
In the interest of transparency, EPA is making the acrolein data from the schools project available. These data are considered unreliable and should not be used for any analysis.
- Acrolein Data - Historical Only (PDF) (6pp, 19k)