Evaluation of hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, particulate matter, and meteorological measurements collected during ATSDR’s Ambient Air Monitoring/Sampling Program on the Yakama Reservation, Harrah Washington
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Evaluation of hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, particulate matter, and meteorological measurements collected during ATSDR’s Ambient Air Monitoring/Sampling Program on the Yakama Reservation, Harrah Washington

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    The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) conducted an exposure investigation (EI) in Harrah, Washington to determine if residents in the community are exposed to harmful levels of air pollutants. Harrah, located on the Yakama Reservation in south-central Washington State, is home to many large dairy and beef animal feeding operations (AFOs). Residents have expressed concern about odors and exposures to air pollutants related to AFOs on the reservation. In 2011, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) contacted ATSDR on behalf of the Concerned Citizens of the Yakama Reservation and Friends of Toppenish Creek to conduct an Exposure Investigation (EI) to determine if residents are being exposed to harmful contaminants in air from AFOs on the reservation. ATSDR agreed to conduct the EI to determine the community’s exposure to contaminants related to AFOs and review data on the general air quality in the region. For this EI, ATSDR established several air sampling and monitoring locations (sites) near Harrah, a small town on the Yakama Reservation. To address community concerns and assess potential seasonal variation, ATSDR collected ambient air measurements of pollutants over two 8-week periods (events): from October 23, 2014, to December 18, 2014 (Fall 2014) and from June 22, 2015 to August 19, 2015 (Summer 2015). Various averaging times up to one day were used to assess short-term exposures while the average of both sampling events was used to assess long-term exposures. ATSDR notes that sampling periods (up to eight weeks) are much shorter than those generally used to estimate chronic exposure (greater than a year). During both events, ATSDR collected measurements of particulate matter (PM), including particulate matter 2.5 microns or smaller (PM2.5) and particulate matter 10 microns or smaller (PM10), ammonia (NH3), and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) from residential, commercial, and other locations close to AFOs near Harrah. All these pollutants were detected at various concentrations over the course of the EI. The measured concentrations of ammonia and hydrogen sulfide were compared to chemical-specific, health-based comparison values (CVs) from ATSDR and EPA. EPA’s air quality index (AQI) and National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), and the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Air Quality Guidelines (AQGs) were used to evaluate exposure to PM2.5 and PM10. Yakama_Reservation_HC-508.pdf
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