Browsing College of Natural Science and Mathematics (CNSM) by Author "Ricker, Janet Elaine"
Benzene as an indoor air pollutant in Fairbanks, AlaskaRicker, Janet Elaine (2000-08)Benzene is a known carcinogen found in gasoline, automobile exhaust, cigarette smoke, and organic solvents. Previous studies suggest that sources of chemicals within the home are the major factors influencing personal exposure to benzene. Indoor air was sampled for benzene in order to determine the concentrations present in Fairbanks homes, and to indentify what factors might be associated with higher concentrations. Sampling sites were limited to homes with attached garages and with no smokers in the household. A wide range of benzene concentrations was observed in the eight homes sampled. The highest concentration was about 70 ppbv, and the concentration in most homes was at or above 4 ppbv. The primary source of benzene appears to be gasoline, most likely from small engines (such as lawnmowers) stored in the attached garage. More sites, including homes with attached garages that contain various numbers of small engines, need to be sampled to confirm these conclusions.