A screening model for predicting concentrations of volatile organic chemicals in shower stall air: Research Project Summary



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Trenton, N.J. : New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Science, Research and Technology


A simple equilibrium model was developed to predict maximum possible concentrations of volatile organic chemicals that may occur in shower stall air from the use of contaminated water during a showering event. The only site-specific parameter that must be known to use the model is the contaminant concentration in the influent water. Data was compiled from four previous studies for which vapor concentrations of contaminants in experimental shower stalls were measured. Peak concentrations reported in these experiments were compared to model-predicted concentrations. Experimental peak concentrations were typically within an order magnitude of concentrations predicted from the model (used under standard conditions), with the predicted value almost always being the higher of the two concentrations. When the model-predicted values were adjusted for experimentally reported values for water temperature, air exchange rates, and water flow rates,agreement between experimental and predicted values improved; predicted values usually were in the range of 1 to 3 times the experimental peak concentrations. The behavior of the model suggests that it would be useful as a screening tool for estimating maximum concentrations of volatile organic chemicals in shower stall air, arising from the use of contaminated water during a showering event. Example calculations of shower water criteria to protect against unacceptable inhalation exposures indicated that at times these criteria were lower than drinking water Maximum Contaminant Levels or other criteria based on ingestion of the water. This research was supported through the New Jersey A-280 Drinking Water Research Fund.



New Jersey, VOCs, Volatile organic chemicals