Health Indicator Report of Acetaldehyde in Outdoor Air
Acetaldehyde is emitted into the atmosphere through incomplete combustion of gasoline from automotive tailpipe exhaust, and can also be found in smokestack emissions and in smoke produced from fires. In New Jersey's urban areas, emissions are primarily from mobile sources (e.g. cars, trucks, buses) with minor contribution from stationary sources (e.g. fireplaces and wood stoves, forest and wildfires, pulp and paper production, wastewater processing). People exposed to acetaldehyde can experience irritation of the respiratory tract and altered respiratory function. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has concluded that acetaldehyde is a probable human carcinogen.
Acetaldehyde Concentrations in Outdoor Air, by New Jersey County, 2011 NATA
NotesData Source: USEPA National-scale Air Toxics Assessment (NATA), 2011 and NJDEP Division of Air Quality
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Bureau of Air Monitoring, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
DefinitionMean of modeled annual average acetaldehyde concentration for census tracts in a county, using 2011 NATA data
NumeratorModeled mean acetaldehyde concentration in micrograms per cubic meter
How Are We Doing?All New Jersey counties exceed the health benchmark of 0.45 micrograms of acetaldehyde per cubic meter of air. The highest ambient air concentrations can be found in the northeast counties (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Passaic, Union). Acetaldehyde air concentrations throughout the state are also influenced by out-of-state emissions from mobile sources.
What Is Being Done?In the outdoor environment, acetaldehyde is a byproduct of combustion and subject to the general controls on automobile and stationary sources. Industrial facilities that emit this chemical must obtain permits from the NJDEP Air Program and are also subject to state and federal air pollution control technology requirements.
Available ServicesTo view select air quality data collected at outdoor monitors across the United States, go to: [http://www.epa.gov/airdata/] Historic New Jersey County Risk Ratio tables can be found at the following URL: [http://www.state.nj.us/dep/airmon/airtoxics/nataest.htm#rrtab]
Page Content Updated On 11/15/2016, Published on 08/23/2017