The Benzene and other Toxics Exposure (BEE-TEX) Study

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner
Monday, 5 January 2015: 11:15 AM
124A (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Eduardo P. Olaguer Jr., Houston Advanced Research Center, Woodlands, TX; and J. Stutz, C. Kolb, S. C. Herndon, W. Vizuete, and M. H. Erickson

There is a great need to characterize and measure ambient exposure to urban pollution plumes, especially in industrial fence line communities, such as those in the Houston Ship Channel, home to numerous petrochemical facilities. New methods are required to: 1) quantify emissions from specific emission points within an industrial facility (and not just from the entire facility), including their chemical speciation and temporal variability at high resolution (i.e., very large transient emission events rather than just annual average emissions), while operating outside industrial fence lines; and 2) assess ambient exposure to air pollution at very high spatial resolution (ten to a few hundred meters) over entire neighborhoods surrounding industrial facilities, including exposure to chemically reactive compounds. The 2014 Benzene and other Toxics Exposure (BEE-TEX) Study was designed to demonstrate and test a stable of new technologies, including: 1) Computer Aided Tomography (CAT) scans of hazardous air pollution based on Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (DOAS); 2) real-time data broadcasting and adaptive mobile monitoring based on fast (~1 second time response) chemical ionization and optical techniques with very low limits of detection (less than or equal to 1 part per billion); 3) neighborhood scale air quality models for pollutant dispersion and chemistry in the presence of realistic buildings that can be run in both the traditional forward mode (predicting air concentrations from specified emissions) and inverse mode (inferring transient emissions from specific emission points based on ambient or remote sensing air measurements); and 4) portable cultured human lung cells that can be used to discriminate chemical exposures and indicate likely health impacts. An overview of the BEE-TEX campaign will be provided, along with results of preliminary data analyses in the aftermath of the field study.