Linn County Air Quality Division
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Acetaldehyde Monitoring

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Acetaldehyde Monitoring Locations Linn County
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Linn County Public Health
Enhanced Monitoring of Acetaldehyde in Linn County

Linn County Public Health was awarded an EPA grant to perform a two year ambient air monitoring study on the emissions of acetaldehyde in our area.  As reported in the 2005 TRI and 2006 TRI data, acetaldehyde is released in greater quantities than any other TRI reportable chemical.  Acetaldehyde is formed as a byproduct of fermentation processes such as those used to produce yeast and ethanol.

When compared only among industrial pollutants, acetaldehyde appears to released in signficant quantities.  However, a much larger source of acetaldehyde emissions comes from motor vehicles.  The products of combustion from engines react in the atmosphere under sunlight and form secondary pollutants including acetaldehyde. Linn County Public Health seeks to understand whether the industrial facilities reporting acetaldehyde emissions create any localized areas of concern that would be more significant than from motor vehicles.  

Beginning in spring of 2009, Linn County will set up monitors in four areas:

    Site A – Residential Exposure Monitoring Site (Linn County Public Health
    Site B – Industrial Point Source Monitor Site (Diamond V Mills)
    Site C – Industrial Point Source Monitoring Site (ADM Ethanol Facilities and Red Star Yeast)
    Site D – Background Monitoring Site (City of Coggon)

Upon completion of this project, Linn County will use this data to identify the greatest areas of exposure and risk, to evaluate the impact of major and minor sources of acetaldehyde emissions in Linn County, and to develop risk reduction strategies to protect human health. In addition to serving Linn County citizens, this data may be useful for EPA to assess impacts and develop policy for other communities throughout the US that are potentially impacted by industrial fermentation processes and their associated emissions of acetaldehyde.