Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tollbooth Ventilation System Effective In Protecting Workers From Traffic Air Pollution

Date:
May 8, 2005
Source:
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School Of Public Health
Summary:
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that tollbooth ventilation systems at the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel are effective in keeping air toxins out of the tollbooth and away from the workers.

Amir Sapkota and Timothy J. Buckley.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School Of Public Health

Although there is the potential for tollbooth workers at the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel to be exposed to high levels of cancer-causing air toxins emitted from the thousands of vehicles that pass under their nose, researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that the tollbooth ventilation system was effective in keeping air toxins out of the tollbooth and away from the workers. The researchers measured levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particle-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) inside and outside the tollbooth and found relatively high levels outdoors and relatively low levels indoors. The study is published in the May 1, 2005, issue of Environmental Science & Technology.

“Tollbooth facilities represent a potential worst-case scenario for occupational exposure to mobile source-related air pollution, as these employees spend a majority of their shift within an arm’s length of thousands of vehicles emitting a wide range of toxic pollutants. Yet, little has been done to evaluate worker exposure and the protection afforded by the indoor environment,” Amir Sapkota, PhD, lead author of the study and a post-doctoral fellow in the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences.

In June 2001, the researchers measured the concentration of air toxins at a tollbooth at the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel. They also examined traffic volume in addition to curbside pollutant concentrations and the concentrations inside the tollbooth. They compared air toxin levels during the three shifts worked by tollbooth employees—morning (6 a.m.–2 p.m.), afternoon (2–10 p.m.) and night (10 p.m.–6 a.m.).


The researchers found that levels of 1,3-butadiene and benzene peaked with the morning and afternoon rush-hour traffic. In contrast, they found that the levels inside the tollbooth were relatively low and constant. They found, however, that some of the chlorinated VOCs used in dry cleaning, air deodorizers and cleaning products were present in higher concentrations inside the tollbooth than outdoors.

“It is wonderful to discover that the tollbooth environment is doing what it is designed to do—protect workers from the hazardous environment in which they would otherwise be immersed. It is important to note, however, that not all tollbooth workers in this country, and especially in developing countries, are provided with this protection,” said Timothy J. Buckley, PhD, MHS, senior author of the study and an associate professor in the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences.

“Tollbooth Workers and Mobile Source-Related Hazardous Air Pollutants: How Protective Is the Indoor Environment?” was supported by the Johns Hopkins Education and Research Center Pilot Project Research Training Fund, National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Co-authors of the study were Amir Sapkota, D’Ann Williams and Timothy J. Buckley.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School Of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School Of Public Health. "Tollbooth Ventilation System Effective In Protecting Workers From Traffic Air Pollution." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 May 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050507182910.htm>.
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School Of Public Health. (2005, May 8). Tollbooth Ventilation System Effective In Protecting Workers From Traffic Air Pollution. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050507182910.htm
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School Of Public Health. "Tollbooth Ventilation System Effective In Protecting Workers From Traffic Air Pollution." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050507182910.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

AFP (July 23, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th. Thousands turned out for a free clinic run by "Remote Area Medical" with a visit from the Governor of Virginia. Duration: 2:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins