Measurement of BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethybenzene, and xylene) levels at urban and semirural areas of Algiers City using passive air samplers

13 November 2019

Kerchich, Y., Kerbachi, R.

Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association, 2012, 62(12), 1370-1379.

The study presents the levels of air pollution by aromatic organic compounds BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, o-, m-, and p-xylenes) in the city of Algiers. The sampling was carried out using Radiello passive sampler. Three sampling campaigns were carried out in roadside, tunnel, urban background, and semirural sites in Algiers. In order to determine the diurnal mean levels of air pollution by BTEX to which people are exposed, a modified passive sampler was used for the first time. In addition, monitoring of pollution inside vehicles was also made. In the spring of 2009, more than 27 samplings were carried out. In the background and road traffic sites the Radiello sampler was exposed for 7 days, whereas the time exposure was reduced to 1 day in the case of the vehicle as well as the tunnel. The results indicate that average benzene concentrations in the roadside and inside vehicle exceed largely the limit value of 5 mu g m(-3) established by the European Community (EC). On the other hand, it has been noticed that the concentration levels of other BTEX are relatively high. Also, in order to identify the origin of emission sources, ratios and correlations between the BTEX species have been highlighted. This study shows that road traffic remains the main source of many local emission in Algiers.

Implications: The vehicle fleet in Algeria is growing rapidly since the 1990s following economic growth and is responsible for the increasing air pollution in large cities. Because there are no data collection of BTEX carried out by national air quality network, all environmental and transportation policies are based on European emissions standards, but national emission standards are currently not in place. This work will contribute to the analysis of real emissions of BTEX in Algiers, for the development of management and for assessment of population exposure variation depending on the location in the city of Algiers.