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Customer exposure to MTBE, TAME, C6 alkyl methyl ethers, and benzene during gasoline refueling.
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MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9924009     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
We studied customer exposure during refueling by collecting air samples from customers' breathing zone. The measurements were carried out during 4 days in summer 1996 at two Finnish self-service gasoline stations with "stage I" vapor recovery systems. The 95-RON (research octane number) gasoline contained approximately 2.7% methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), approximately 8.5% tert-amyl methyl ether (TAME), approximately 3.2% C6 alkyl methyl ethers (C6 AMEs), and 0.75% benzene. The individual exposure concentrations showed a wide log-normal distribution, with low exposures being the most frequent. In over 90% of the samples, the concentration of MTBE was higher (range <0.02-51 mg/m3) than that of TAME. The MTBE values were well below the short-term (15 min) threshold limits set for occupational exposure (250-360 mg/m3). At station A, the geometric mean concentrations in individual samples were 3.9 mg/m3 MTBE and 2. 2 mg/m3 TAME. The corresponding values at station B were 2.4 and 1.7 mg/m3, respectively. The average refueling (sampling) time was 63 sec at station A and 74 sec at station B. No statistically significant difference was observed in customer exposures between the two service stations. The overall geometric means (n = 167) for an adjusted 1-min refueling time were 3.3 mg/m3 MTBE and 1.9 mg/m3 TAME. Each day an integrated breathing zone sample was also collected, corresponding to an arithmetic mean of 20-21 refuelings. The overall arithmetic mean concentrations in the integrated samples (n = 8) were 0.90 mg/m3 for benzene and 0.56 mg/m3 for C6 AMEs calculated as a group. Mean MTBE concentrations in ambient air (a stationary point in the middle of the pump island) were 0.16 mg/m3 for station A and 0.07 mg/m3 for station B. The mean ambient concentrations of TAME, C6 AMEs, and benzene were 0.031 mg/m3, approximately 0.005 mg/m3, and approximately 0.01 mg/m3, respectively, at both stations. The mean wind speed was 1.4 m/sec and mean air temperature was 21 degreesC. Of the gasoline refueled during the study, 75% was 95 grade and 25% was 98/99 grade, with an oxygenate (MTBE) content of 12.2%.
S Vainiotalo; Y Peltonen; A Ruonakangas; P Pfäffli
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Environmental health perspectives     Volume:  107     ISSN:  0091-6765     ISO Abbreviation:  Environ. Health Perspect.     Publication Date:  1999 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1999-05-25     Completed Date:  1999-05-25     Revised Date:  2008-11-20    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0330411     Medline TA:  Environ Health Perspect     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  133-40     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland.
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MeSH Terms
Air Pollutants / analysis*
Benzene / analysis*
Chromatography, Gas
Environmental Exposure / analysis*
Gasoline / analysis*
Methyl Ethers / analysis*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Air Pollutants; 0/Gasoline; 0/Methyl Ethers; 1634-04-4/methyl tert-butyl ether; 71-43-2/Benzene; 994-05-8/tertiary-amyl methyl ether

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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Journal Information
Journal ID (nlm-ta): Environ Health Perspect
ISSN: 0091-6765
Article Information
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Print publication date: Month: 2 Year: 1999
Volume: 107 Issue: 2
First Page: 133 Last Page: 140
ID: 1566326
PubMed Id: 9924009

Customer exposure to MTBE, TAME, C6 alkyl methyl ethers, and benzene during gasoline refueling.
S Vainiotalo
Y Peltonen
A Ruonakangas
P Pf?ffli
Department of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland.

Article Categories:
  • Research Article

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