Something's in the Air - New Directives for Air Monitoring
Dr. Deborah Barsotti, DABT, Toxicologist and Vice President, Emilcott Associates, Inc.
Co-Author: Bruce Groves, CIH, President & CEO, Emilcott Associates, Inc.
Based on 1970 design concepts, air monitoring plans from national monitoring networks to community air monitoring are changing, including those for Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) remediation. Major changes fall into the categories of:
• What parameters are being monitored?
• How are the parameters being monitored?
• What is the potential impact the community health and welfare?
New directions in air monitoring are needed to reflect the successful progress in reducing air pollution, incorporate new scientific findings and technologies, and balance societal issues. Gone is the single pollutant measurement approach. The conceptual site model needs to include chemical-specific parameters; considerations of total cumulative risk and hazards for ALL major contributors in the emissions; full characterization of chemical emission, including chemicals that are emitted both as volatiles and particulate bound like naphthalene; non-chemical emissions, such as respirable particles; and odors and monitoring with real time instrumentation paired with laboratory confirmation of chemical-specific air quality. A recent addition to the conceptual model incorporates characterization of the community, including sensitive individuals and environmental justice concerns. More granularity of monitoring data is being sought both in what is being analyzed and where it is being analyzed. Chemical-specific analysis based on health-based criteria drive analytical requirements for lower detection limits. Sensor technology has expanded monitoring by communities and individuals. Added to the emerging use of technology is community involvement in managing air quality and protection of public health that is being driven in part by empowered communities overburdened with environmental impacts and federal, state, and local environmental justice laws and focus.
During more than three decades of experience, Dr. Barsotti has focused on risk-based solutions for public and environmental health problems. As a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology, Dr. Barsotti promotes the use of sound science when conducting human health and ecological risk assessments for use in developing strategies and making risk management decisions. Dr. Barsotti is responsible for technical consultation and project management of applied toxicology and risk assessment. She has experience applying risk assessment tools to public health and environmental problems that result in cost-effective strategies. Dr. Barsotti has considerable experience in communicating complex pathology, toxicology, and risk assessment issues to nonscientific audiences; interacting with the regulatory community; and responding to regulatory and legal issues. She has employed risk assessment in a broad spectrum of projects, including land acquisition and sale, state risk-based cleanups (i.e., Arizona, California, Indiana, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, New Jersey, Florida, Wisconsin, Montana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio), CERCLA and RCRA remediation, indoor air problems, natural resource damage claims and litigation support and strategy including toxic tort, product liability, class action, and workman's compensation claims. Before joining Emilcott and the environmental consulting sector, Dr. Barsotti held positions in academia (Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science - now University of the Sciences – Assistant Professor in Toxicology and Coordinator of the Toxicology Program), government (ATSDR – Division Director of Toxicology) and private industry (Exxon Biomedical Sciences – Group Head Hydrocarbon Solvents).