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Air Toxics

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The goal of the air toxics monitoring program is to support reduction of public exposure to HAPs. Monitoring data will provide a critically important role by characterizing HAPs concentrations to support three very basic monitoring objectives, and also several sub-objectives. These objectives are:

  1. Trends - Measurements of key HAPs in representative areas of the nation to provide a basic measure of air quality differences across cities and regions, and over time in specific areas. Trends measurements provide one basis for accounting program progress.
  2. Exposure Assessments - Ambient measurements may serve as a surrogate for actual human exposure. However, understanding relationships between ambient concentrations and personal exposure and how human activities impact these relationships is critical for true exposure assessments. Therefore, ambient measurements support exposure assessments by providing ambient concentration levels for comparison with personal measurements. In addition, ambient measurements may also provide direct input into more detailed human exposure models that can be used to estimate actual human exposures.
  3. Air Quality Model Evaluation - Measurements provide basic ground truthing of models which in turn are used for exposure assessments, development of emission control strategies, and related assessments of program effectiveness. In addition, measurements provide direct input into source-receptor models which provide relatively direct linkage between emission sources and receptor locations

Also see the Air Toxics Website (ATW) homepage, which contains more information about EPA's Air Toxics and Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPS) program.


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