Acrolein (2-propenal) is a reactive chemical that is very toxic and has many sources. Acrolein is commonly detected in the atmosphere, but understanding the ambient concentrations of this compound has been hampered by analytical difficulties. The objective of this research was to utilize an analytical method specifically designed for acrolein to determine acrolein concentrations in remote regions. The purpose was to determine the natural background concentrations of acrolein which were simply lacking in the literature. In addition, rural and urban areas were sampled to determine the degree of anthropogenic enrichment in polluted environments. The results from the coastal and remote inland areas suggest that the median natural summertime background of acrolein was near 40 ng/m3, which was higher than the Environmental Protection Agency's Reference Concentration (RfC) of 20 ng/m3. Acrolein concentrations in urban areas were approximately 3- to 8-fold higher than background concentrations, which was a lower degree of urban enrichment than expected. The results suggest that additional research is needed to understand the natural background concentrations of acrolein.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry