Development and Application of a Sensitive Method to Determine Concentrations of Acrolein and Other Carbonyls in Ambient Air

This report describes a study by Dr. Thomas Cahill and colleagues to create and evaluate a new method to measure acrolein and other volatile carbonyls present at low concentrations in ambient air. Acrolein is an important aldehyde that is very difficult to measure accurately, so developing better methods for measuring levels and exposure is critical to better risk assessment for the chemical. The investigators developed a sampler that traps acrolein using sodium bisulfite in an aqueous medium. The study included a field test near an area of heavy traffic, which allowed investigators to compare the results of their method with those from conventional methods.