Active and passive ozone samplers based on a reaction with a binary reagent.

Research report (Health Effects Institute)

PubMedID: 8185874

Hackney JD, Avol EL, Linn WS, Anderson KR. Active and passive ozone samplers based on a reaction with a binary reagent. Res Rep Health Eff Inst. 1994;.
Ozone is one of the most toxic common air pollutants (judging from short-term animal and human exposure studies at realistic concentrations) and one of the most difficult and expensive pollutants to control. Because of ozone's high chemical reactivity, its concentrations may vary greatly over short distances, and fixed-site air quality monitors may not accurately estimate exposures of human populations. Epidemiologic research on ozone's long-term health effects has been inconclusive, partly because of the lack of reliable personal exposure information. The objective of this project was to develop a practical personal ozone exposure monitoring technique, and to document its precision and accuracy in actual use by representatives of freely ranging, ozone-exposed populations. The project site, Los Angeles, is the nation's metropolitan area with the highest level of ozone pollution and, thus, probably the most important locale for personal exposure assessment. Our overall strategy was (1) to select the most promising laboratory technique for ozone detection from published literature and private communications; (2) to design and test personal monitors using this technique; and (3) when feasible, to evaluate concurrently alternative methodologies developed by others. As indicated below, parts 1 and 2 of our strategy yielded a limited success with respect to short-term active sampling, i.e., measuring personal ozone exposure levels during one to two hours with a monitor incorporating a battery-powered air pump of the type used in industrial hygiene investigations. The same approach was not successful in passive sampling, i.e., measuring exposure levels during multihour or multiday periods with a light-weight, diffusion-controlled "badge" sampler having no moving parts. Passive badge samplers could be calibrated reasonably well in laboratory exposures to ozone in otherwise pure air, but they greatly overestimated ozone levels in outdoor ambient air. Part 3 of our strategy yielded more promising information on an alternative passive badge design. After testing and rejecting two other possibilities, we chose a binary organic reagents, 3-methyl-2-benzothiazolinone acetone azine with 2-phenylphenol, as the most promising chemical detector of ozone. Filter papers impregnated with the binary reagent develop a characteristic intense pink color when exposed to ozone. The inventors, J.E. Lambert and associates of Kansas State University, had intended only to develop a rough qualitative ozone monitor (Lambert et al. 1989). However, our initial laboratory testing (in exposure chambers containing ozone in otherwise very clean air, away from humans), revealed fairly accurate quantitative response.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)