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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Atmospheric Pollutants and Trace Gases

Empirical Relationship between Use, Area, and Ambient Air Concentration of Methyl Bromide


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 34 No. 2, p. 420-428
    Received: June 3, 2004

    * Corresponding author(s): lli@cdpr.ca.gov
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  1. LinYing Li *,
  2. Bruce Johnson and
  3. Randy Segawa
  1. California Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Pesticide Regulation, Environmental Monitoring Branch, Post Office Box 4015, Sacramento, CA 95812-4015


Methyl bromide (MeBr) is one of the most widely used soil fumigants. Human exposure to MeBr above threshold values can cause serious health problems. The exposure assessment of MeBr depends on estimation or measurement of its air concentrations. This study proposed a methodology for systematically exploring the empirical relationship between MeBr use intensity and ambient air concentrations. Monitored air concentrations were regressed to MeBr use over various spatiotemporal scales that step-wise increased around the monitoring site and monitoring period. The results showed that the goodness-of-fit varied with the spatiotemporal scale of MeBr use. The best fit was Y = 0.46 + 0.00120X (R 2 = 0.95, n = 11), where Y was the 8-wk average ambient air concentration (μg/m3), and X was the weekly average use (kg/wk) over an area of 11.3 × 11.3 km (7 × 7 mi). The model was calibrated with air-monitoring data and use data of 2000, and verified with the same type data of 2001. The model estimated subchronic air concentration with reasonable accuracy.

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